The "Antichrist-for-a-Day Award" features an image of Antiochus IV, the archetype of the dreaded antichrist to come, predicted in the prophecies of the Bible, especially Daniel's prophecy of chapter 8.
The Seleucid king of Syria in the 2nd century BC, Antiochus IV, (215 BC-164 BC), was a figure or type of another powerful king in Daniel's prophecy, who will end up fighting Christ himself, the "Prince of Princes" [Dan 8:25]. Of course such a fight would be futile; Daniel writes that he is eventually "broken without hand". However, this "king of fierce countenance" who "understands dark sentences" is probably not some particular individual person; antichrist is identified in the New Testament writings of St. John, one of the 12 apostles of the Lord, as a spirit; I take it to mean the attutude of hostility to Christ, and the truth. John said there were many antichrists around, even in those days.
To be eligible for nomination, a candidate must have shown himself (or herself) (un)worthy by particularly odious acts or comments, especially against Christians, or the Bible, or God, and Jesus Christ the savior of all. But the award is especially intended for acts marked by a certain brilliance, or boldness of conception, treachery, fraud, and deceit, that seem reminiscent of the notorious Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes, whose deeds were spelled out centuries earlier in Daniel's prophecy, where he is called "a vile person" [Dan 11:21].
Acts of treachery were performed by Antiochus and his agents during the imposition of hellenistic reforms upon the Jews. Antiochus tried to eliminate or modify the traditional practice of the law of Moses amongst the Jews in his kingdom. He made observance of the sabbath illegal, and suppressed reading of the scriptures. He encouraged Jews to adopt the customs of the Greeks and of their neighbors; this all seems to have a striking parallel with the conflict today between atheistic, skeptical materialism, and traditional Christian belief, based on the Bible.
Antiochus had a flair for bohemian behaviour and showmanship. He was educated in the hellenistic fashion, at Rome, where he was a hostage in his youth. A hellenistic education involved attending a gymnasium, and learning the poems of Homer. It probably involved also the study of Greek philosophy, and geometry. It would include a certain element of pseudo-science, as we perhaps could call it today, as the geocentrism of those days, and the theory of homocentic planetary spheres, has been completely discredited, due mainly to the discoveries made by devout Christians such as Galileo, Kepler and Newton.
After his release from Rome, Antiochus was elected to civic office in Athens. Upon learning about the sudden death of his brother Seleucus, he went to Antioch, where he became established as king.
He probably became aware of the lack of any reference to the idea of a rigid, rotating sky in the Bible while in office, as he detained the Jewish High Priest, Onias II, in Antioch, when he sought the aid of the king to settle certain sqabbles amongst the Jews in Jerusalem. Eventually, as an old man, Onias was murdered because he had denounced the sale of temple treasures by Menelaus, who had taken his place as High Priest.
The lack of any reference to the existence of Zeus as the sphere of the starry heavens, and the bright blue sky of the day, in the creation account of Genesis would probably have deeply bothered Antiochus, and there is evidence in Daniel's prophecy that he was responsible for introducing statements supporting the geocentric cosmology and the idea of a rigid sky into the scriptures by fraud.
Antiochus appointed the priests who replaced Onias, and they promoted the hellenistic reforms. Under Jason, the city of Jerusalem was renamed "Antioch", a gymnasium was built near the temple, and many Jews began to wear the Greek hat. Some who were circumcised, tried to conceal it, somehow, during the wrestling contests and games that replaced the solemn learning of the ancient law. During the rule of Menelaus the temple itself was rededicated to Zeus Olympios.
All this has its parallel today in the Christian community. There have been many examples of ministers and leaders who have defected to the world, and who have adopted skeptical views, forsaking their former Biblical faith, much as the hellenists amongst the Jews did in the age of Antiochus IV. Concealing one's circumcision would figure a Christian believer who is ashamed of his faith, and his God, and pretends to be a skeptic or atheist. Many christians seem to have become conformed to the world, which has its ancient parallel in those Jews of Jerusalem adopting the custom of wearing Greek hats.
In the New Testament writings of Paul and Peter, the temple is a figure of the church, in which God dwells by his Spirit. The city of Jerusalem, as well, is a figure of the community of the saints. In Gal 4:26 Paul writes:
But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
What would be the significance, then, of the city of Jerusalem being made desolate by Antiochus in the 2nd century BC, and its temple dedicated to pagan deities? Could this be a figure of the state of the church in the last days?
In 1John 2:18, John says many antichrists will appear at the end time. He wrote:
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.
John labelled those denying Jesus is the Christ as antichrist, and liars, in 1John 2:22. He refers to the antichrist as a spirit in 1John 4:3. He says there are "many deceivers," who he calls antichrist, who do not acknowledge that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, in 2John 1:7. Another scripture, usually taken to refer to the antichrist, is found in one of the letters of the apostle Paul, 2Thess 2:3-12. This passage seems to refer to the prophecies of Daniel and the historical figures or types of what would befall the church in the last days, that could be learned from events during the time of Antiochus IV. Paul viewed these events in the history of Israel and of Jerusalem as "examples" or figures from which spiritual lessons could be learned by the church (1Cor 10:6). As Antiochus introduced chaos and idols into the temple, making it desolate, the antichrist would make the church (the real temple) desolate and polluted at the end of the age. Remember, when considering the meaning of Paul's prophecy in 2Thess 2, the "temple of God" in Paul's writing is best understood as a figure of the church, as in Eph 2:20-22.
E.T. Babinski is one of the leading contributors of skeptical propaganda to the Talk.Origins Archive. Ed's efforts unwittingly promote the fraud of Antiochus IV, who initiated the corruption of the cosmological passages in scripture, that support the geocentric views of the ancient Greeks, as explained in my Report on the Firmament. Although perhaps a victim of this ancient fraud himself, Ed is being considered for possible nomination as an "Antichrist-for-a-Day" award winner. The day of the award is not yet set. What do you think? Would you support this nomination? Some of his impious writings are:
The Antichrist - by Rev. Barry Gritters
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