Wow! Never heard this before! From www.donfrazier.com
"Since God first introduced the biblical prophesies of an Antichrist, there has been a fascination and a curiosity about this diabolical "creature" who would make a grand, global entrance during the end-time. Many have tried unsuccessfully to predict the identity of this enemy of all that is good and holy. Some have even contrived alphanumeric formulas to help solve the mystery and identify Satan's super-salesman of sin.
Hitler, Mussolini, various Popes, and several politicians have all been caught in the cross hairs of the "Antichrist Hunters." The search still continues and, in fact, has heated up in recent months. The comparisons and assertions about America's new president have spawned a rabid interest in the "who, when and how" questions regarding the Antichrist.
People want to know how someone could rise from almost total obscurity, and, in just a few months, he could be universally heralded as "the new Messiah?" Witnessing this meteoric rise in a present day personality has caught many people's attention who previously did not give much time or interest to the subject. It now has them wondering if the Antichrist is currently on the scene.
There are those who see similarities between the descriptions God gives of the perverse, end-time politician and the unparallel political ascension of the new resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Nevertheless, we Christians must not be caught up in this web of societal speculation. We must force our concerns or suspicions to pass through the grid of total biblical information on all subjects, including that which regards the Antichrist. Let's take a few moments and look at exactly what the Bible actually says about this evil interloper waiting to launch his all-out war against the Kingdom of God.
Just mentioning the word "Antichrist" starts the wheels of conjecture spinning. Nothing seems to spark a lively debate any faster than broaching this subject. Everyone has a theory, an idea, an insight or a secret code for unlocking the identity of this mystical, maniacal creature from the Apocalypse.
As a serious student of the Bible, I am constantly amazed at the preponderance of error that surfaces when discussions about End Time prophecies are espoused. Some errors are from lack of biblical knowledge and others are from incorrect assumptions based on faulty Bible translations or interpretations.
The goal of this nugget is to help all of us sort through our collective conjecture or ignorance and take a fresh look at what the Bible actually says about the Antichrist and the period of the Great Tribulation that is coming.
The first order of business is to see how the "tenses" in Revelation 1:19 relate to time frames in the Bible. This is critical for understanding the vision. John was told to write the things, "Which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter."
In that instruction, you have the past, present and future tenses all being represented in the time frame covered by John's Vision. If you miss this critical point you will easily become confused as you read through the Book of Revelation.
It is commonly agreed upon that chapter 1 is the first division because of John's having seen Jesus in the Vision. Chapters 2 and 3 are the present tense for John as he sees the contemporaneous churches of Asia Minor. While some might disagree, most expositors agree that chapter 4, verse 1 begins the future portion of the vision. It begins with these words "After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in Heavenů" John's first view (past) was of Jesus; the second view (present) was of the existing churches and the third view (future) occurs after the Rapture of the Church and changes the focus of the Vision to Heaven.
The delineation between tenses is seen earlier in 1:18 where Jesus says to John, "I am He that liveth (present), and was dead (past): and, behold, I am alive forevermore (future)." This grammatical structure is observed again in 17:8 where a reference is made to the Antichrist ("the Beast"). The angel tells John, "The beast that thou sawest was (past), and is not (present); and shall ascend (future) out of the bottomless pit." (See 11:17 for another illustration of tenses).
John's Vision revealed a powerful insight into the identity of the Antichrist. The angel tells him that the Antichrist had previously been alive but was presently dead at the time John was on the Isle of Patmos. However, in the future he will come back to life and ascend from the special "burial place" where he is being held. All suggestions as to the identity of the Antichrist must incorporate this time line. The speculation that he could be a 20th or 21st Century personality is completely without merit. It is clear that he was dead at the time of John's Vision, though he had been alive, and will be restored to life after the Rapture of the Church during the Tribulation Period.
Another key to unmasking this villain is found in II Thessalonians 2:3 where Paul writes,
"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 (apoleia, SC 684, "ruin or loss, physical, spiritual or eternal damnation, pernicious ways, waste"; literally 'to destroy or ruin, a state of perdition after death')."
Note the definite articles "that" and "the" which are used in the passage. This is a key grammatical structure to show "singularity, exclusiveness or uniqueness." Since Greek has no indefinite article, the inclusion of the article carries significant value and import to the sentence. The Holy Spirit is speaking of ONE person who will appear as the Antichrist. "Perdition" describes his character and the definite article limits the number to a single individual.
This is not the only place where the epithet is used to describe someone in the Bible. Jesus says in John17:12, "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but THE SON OF PERDITION (emphasis mine); that the scripture might be fulfilled." Notice again the use of the definite article referring to "singularity, exclusiveness or uniqueness" of the individual.
In the Thessalonian passage, Paul is undeniably speaking of the Antichrist. But who is Jesus referring to in the Johanine Scripture? This also has to be the Antichrist because of the use of the definite article in the passage. When people have spoken of "The Sultan of Swat" it could only refer to Babe Ruth. Whether it was "The Lone Ranger," "The King of Swing," "The Father of our Country," "The Queen of Soul," "The Barber of Seville," "The World's Fastest Man," or "The Prince of Peace," each description was referring to ONE AND ONLY ONE person.
As you consider the words of Jesus spoken just before His arrest, He was referring to Judas as being, "the son of perdition." Judas had betrayed Jesus and forsaken Him and the ministry. Jesus mourns over the loss of Judas, "the son of perdition." Grammatical rules then demand that the identification of Judas as "the son of perdition" in John 17:12 be carried forward to the reference by Paul of "the son of perdition" in II Thessalonians 2:3. "Singularity, exclusiveness or uniqueness", by the insertion of the definite article, requires making the identification the SAME individual. There can never be two "the's" in Greek Grammar!
If we apply the description John received on Patmos, we will see that Judas had been alive and was presently dead. But, what do we know about him ascending from the bottomless pit? For this we go to Acts 1:25 and dig for some amazing nuggets of gold.
The Holy Spirit says through the writer Luke "That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell (parabaino, SC 3845, 'to go contrary to, to violate a command , transgress'), that he might go (poreuomai, SC 4198, 'to traverse, travel, to remove[figuratively, to die], depart, go away, take a journey') to his own (idios, SC 2398, 'one's own, private, separate from others, alone, apart') place (topos, SC 5117, 'spot, location, home, room, space, condition')."
The Bible indicates there are FIVE places where the dead have been housed from the beginning of time. The first location is Paradise where the Old Testament Righteous went to rest in Abraham's Bosom. The second place is Hades (Hebrew. "Sheol") where the Old Testament wicked went for torment. These are the ONLY TWO alternatives for human beings as an Eternal abode after death for Old Testament Saints. Paradise has been replaced by Heaven for the Righteous since the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The third location is Hell (Greek "Tartarus") in II Peter 2:4. This is the prison house for the angels who sinned by committing fornication with human women in O.T. times and who gave birth to giants (Genesis 6:1-4 and Isaiah 26:14 where the Rephaim [KJV, "deceased"] are referenced as having no resurrection from the dead).
The fourth place where the dead are housed is under the Euphrates River (Revelation 9:14) where four angels are being held until they are released by God to slay one-third of the population during the Tribulation Period. That brings us to the fifth and last abode of the dead. It is referred to in the Scriptures as The Bottomless Pit. It is said to be the prison house of demons that are being kept by God to be used by Him to bring judgment during the Tribulation Period. There are no humans here, EXCEPT the Antichrist ("The Beast," See Revelation 9:11; 11:7).
Recapping, we find that Revelation 17:8 states that the Antichrist will "ascend out of the Bottomless Pit." John's Vision identifies the Antichrist as a person who had been alive, was presently dead, and would come back to life after the Rapture of the Church. He further states that he will come from the holding area of the Bottomless Pit. These are incontrovertible facts from Scripture. The Holy Spirit also tells us that the Antichrist is called "The Son of Perdition."
Next, the Holy Spirit states in Acts 1:25 that Judas, upon his death, went to his "own, unique, private, separate from others, alone" place. Since he could not go to Paradise or Hades and be alone or separated from others, it certainly seems a reasonable conclusion that he went to the ONLY other place where ONE human is being housed after his death. That place would be The Bottomless Pit. This location has been documented in the Bible as the "holding cell" for the Antichrist until his release during the Tribulation Period.
Finally, The Holy Spirit inspired Paul in II Thessalonians 2:3 to call the Antichrist, "The Son of Perdition." The same Holy Spirit inspired Jesus to call Judas, "The Son of Perdition." The grammatical parameters for the use of the definite article can allow for only ONE "Son of Perdition." Since the Holy Spirit knows the identity of the Antichrist, it seems logical, reasonable and scriptural to accept His disclosure of the identity of Judas as "The Son of Perdition."
Proper exegesis of Scripture requires us to extract what God has given us in His Word, irrespective of our personal preferences, predilections or ideologies. If the conclusions drawn from these passages that have been referenced do not mean what has been translated, the question is then raised, "what do these Scriptures mean?" If the consideration of grammatical tenses, the use of the definite article and the translation of key Greek words used by the Holy Spirit do not combine to bring us to the identity of the Antichrist, then what did the Spirit mean by what He said? How are we to dismiss the grammar or syntax of God's Word if He did not mean what He said in these Scriptures?
If Judas is not the Antichrist, then how do we dismiss the preponderance of all this biblical evidence that points to his identification? Who else that had been alive, but was presently dead when John was receiving the vision, would meet these qualifications? If it is not Judas, then who else called "The Son of Perdition" could it be? This is where your digging should begin!
The stated purpose of these nuggets is to introduce an area where a rich vein of gold ore is located. The challenge is for you, the reader, to settle down, dig into God's Word and discover for yourself how these glorious glimpses into the Greek New Testament can open a new understanding of God's Holy Word.
Revelation is the only book in the Bible that God, Himself, analyzed for us. It is not necessary to understand it before we accept it!".
Hmmmm. I said, hmmmm.