The Orthodox Pages

email: pater@christopherklitou.com 

 

TALK ON THE BOOK OF REVELATION

Part 12

21st March 2013

 Homepage

 

   Back                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Last week we finished seeing part of the description of the beast that came out of the sea. The identity of the beast is the antichrist, a man who will mimic the life of Christ. Because of this the fathers have nicknamed him the "monkey of Christ". He will be 100% human, but will have the energy of Satan from whom he will receive the authority to do amazing miracles that will delude the peoples of this world into thinking that he is of divine origin and thus will be worshipped as a god. Continuing from where we left off, the next verse refers to one of the great miracles with which the antichrist will delude the peoples of the world.
"And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast."
Here we have another imitation of Christ. John says he saw one of the beasts heads, as it were wounded to death, in other words it appeared to be dead. So either the antichrist or one of his heads, one of his close aids, will seemingly be put to death and after this by the energy of Satan he will be revived and stand up; a rather poor imitation of the death and resurrection of Christ, but with one major difference. When Christ was resurrected from the dead he was resurrected forever whereas the imitation resurrection of the antichrist will be for a time only. Also the wounds of Christ after his resurrection remained and will remain eternally visible as a testimony of the true resurrection. These are the wounds that were touched by Thomas and the other apostles to verify that he was the one who was crucified and resurrected. On the other hand, the wound of the antichrist will be healed. This theatrical ploy of the antichrist, who will pretend to be Christ, will cause many to follow him, the whole earth will follow him with great wonder. They refused to believe in the miracles of Christ, but now they will believe in the false miracles of the devil. This deception of death and resurrection will be one of the great false miracles of the devil. At first the death will be announced through the media and then the resurrection will be staged and televised.
"And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?"
As a result of the false resurrection, people will worship the dragon devil and the beast antichrist. They will deify them making them gods saying who is like unto the beast? This is taken from the ode of Moses. After the Israelites passed over the Red Sea, Moses sung, "Who is like unto thee Lord." Moses says this to the true God of Israel, but now the people use this phrase for the person of the antichrist and they ascribe to him the phrases that belong only to God. St. Paul reassures of this saying: "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." (2 Thess. 2:4) How will he prove himself as god? With all works of sorcery and deceptions and impressive false miracles.
The people will also say "who is able to make war with him?" Who can fight the beast, who can compete with him? This is like we say today, who can expect to become victorious against God, who can fight God? The antichrist will be considered invincible, unconquerable, impossible to be taken down even by God himself.
"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months."
And there was given unto him, in other words he was allowed to speak great things and blasphemies. Who allowed him? God allowed him, but why? God respects free will. This does not mean that God consents or approves of what the devil does, but he allows it. If someone wants to do something evil through choice of free will then God allows it because if he was to step in at every moment, the idea of free will would be non existent. But there is another reason why God allows it, to teach people by punishment. For example, when a teenage son wants to buy a motorbike, he badgers his parents, they refuse, he insists he will be careful, they say he will break his neck and this goes on for months. Finally the parents give in and say go ahead and buy the bike. In the end he ends up in hospital with a dozen or so fractures. Pain is a good teacher, and hopefully the boy will have learnt through the hard way. So God allows people to do as they wish on the one hand to express their free will, and on the other hand to show that there is punishment if we make bad use of our freedom, but this punishment is educational, it is to bring man to his senses to give up his own sinful will and bring him to follow the natural and therapeutic will of God, as we are taught with the Parable of the Prodigal Son. So God allows the antichrist to blaspheme, but this will not be without limits, he will be allowed only for three and a half years. Then Christ and the judgement will come.
"And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven."
John has already told us that the antichrist will blaspheme God, but here he repeats himself probably because he cannot believe his ears. What he hears is blasphemy against God that has never before been uttered, no one has ever dared to speak against God in this way.
"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations."
Again we have a repetition of things said before. "And it was given unto him to make war" John uses this phrase many times and by it he wants to make it absolutely clear that every action of the devil and the antichrist takes place only by the permission of God. Who are the saints that the antichrist will make war against? They are the members of the church militant, we are the saints who through faith are expected to withstand his violent attacks unto death if necessary.
"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
And again in this verse John repeats that everyone will worship the antichrist, but adds that those that worship him will be all those whose names are not written in the book of life that is, all those who have not been sealed with the sign of God.
"If any man have an ear, let him hear."
This reminds us of the words of Christ who after relating certain parables would end with the words "he who has ears let him hear." What John is telling us is that none of the things he has told us concerning the antichrist should be taken lightly. They are not fables, but at the same time be careful how you hear that you do not misinterpret what is being said; be attentive and be sure to catch the true meaning.
"He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints."
Here we have a warning of punishment. The followers of the antichrist who abuse, persecute and do harm to the faithful, who arrest them and lead them to captivity or kill them by the sword or by any other means, will also suffer a similar fate. But if they kill by the sword, what sword will kill the servants of the antichrist? They will be killed by the sword of the devil; in other words they will be enslaved by the devil. Many who have heard the Lord's words that "he who kills by the sword will die by the sword" have taken this to mean a literally death by the sword as divine judgement for their actions, but we have seen that many who have killed have lived to die a normal death in old age. Thus the death by the sword does not refer to the death of the body, but a spiritual death because those who have not repented will be subject to the devil and will be held captive by him.
"Here is the patience and the faith of the saints."

The patience of the saints is that they do not retaliate and seek revenge for the evils that are done against them; they endure the sufferings with patience and faith that they will inherit the kingdom of God.
The text now continues with another beast who is identified as the false prophet.
"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon."
This is the third beast in the Book of Revelation. The first was the red dragon who was identified as the devil, the second was the beast that came out of the sea who we saw is the antichrist and now this beast who is the false prophet. It says he had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke as a dragon. The lamb as we know is a gentle animal and outwardly this person will appear joyous, full of optimism, full of smiles promising freedom, promising material abundance, peace and all the things that will please the nations of this world; he is a great messenger with a nice appearance, but he speaks as a dragon, in other words he will have the energy of the dragon devil inside him. The Lord told us to beware of such prophets: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." (Matth. 7:15) What we have here is exactly this, a person who appears as a gentle lamb, but inwardly he will be scheming to devour the people through deception. Thus the presence of the third beast comes to compliment and fulfil the work of the other two beasts. We have the dragon devil, the beast antichrist and the beast false prophet, a threesome that will strive to be an imitation of the Holy Trinity and as the Holy Trinity is worshipped, this gruesome imitation will require to be worshipped in the place of the Holy Trinity.
"And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed."
This third beast has all the authority of the beast antichrist. Thus the third beast is subservient to the antichrist and he acts according to his will and agenda. So in reality this false prophet is a kind of forerunner who will prepare the way for the antichrist. His work will be an imitation of the work of St. John the Baptist who prepared the people to accept and believe in the Saviour. This false forerunner, with the two horns, in other words the two powers given him by the antichrist; the power of the word and the power of miracles, will strive to bring the nations to believe in the antichrist, to consider him as God, because of the imitation resurrection from the dead, which we saw earlier, and through the many miraculous signs the false prophet will perform in the name of the Antichrist.
"And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,"
If you remember from the Gospels, the Pharisees asked Christ for a sign from heaven to be assured that Jesus was the awaited Messiah. Miracles are of three levels, miracles of heaven, miracles of earth and miracle of Hades. A miracle from heaven is for example the falling of manna for forty years which was associated with the holiness of Moses and Elias brought down fire from heaven which also verified that he was a true Prophet of God. A miracle from Hades is a resurrection of a dead person which both Elias and Elissaeus (Elisha) performed. A miracle of the earth or surface miracle is the cure of an illness, such as the healing of the paralytic and the healing of the blind-man. The Pharisees were not primarily interested in surface miracles even though these were many and should have been enough to convince them that Christ was the messiah. Christ even raised the dead, but this was not enough to make them believe; they also demanded a sign from heaven. Christ told them: "There shall no sign be given unto this generation." (Mark 8: 12)
But the false prophet will be very eager to provide people with a miraculous sign from heaven and will bring down fire to emulate the old prophets, but also to counteract the miracle of the two prophets of those days, Elias and Enoch who will also bring down fire from heaven thus proving that these two prophets are not from God.
"And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live."
So the false prophet will through signs and miracles deceive the inhabitants of the earth that the antichrist is worthy of worship and will persuade them to honour him by making an image of him, an icon or statue to be worshipped.
"And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed."
The false prophet will have power to give life to the icon of the antichrist. If you remember from our third talk on the book of Revelation where we analyzed the letter to the bishop of Pergamos, it mentioned that "Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth." I mentioned then that Antipas was a disciple of St. John and the first bishop of Pergamos and tradition says that through his presence in Pergamos, the demons began to scream and protest and their voices began to be heard through the statue idols and were heard to say that they were ready to leave the city because Antipas was forcing them out.
This power to give life to the icon of the beast could be something similar, but in our days of computer science, with laser and robot technology, the situation portrayed in these verses seems very close to realization. Some computer experts are even referring to the most complex computers of the near future as "living creatures" with capacities far exceeding those of men. Computers are now able to create "virtual reality", the appearance of real men and real situations.
With the technology we have at present it would be no great a task to make an icon of the antichrist appear to be speaking, an impressive illusion yes, but not a miracle, yet people will be deluded and worship this image. Those who refuse to worship the image of the antichrist will be forced and if this doesn't convince them then they will be put to death.
"And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."
Everyone regardless of age, gender or social standing will be required to receive the mark of the antichrist on their right hand or on their foreheads. We saw in the previous verse that everyone will be required to worship the image of the antichrist under the threat of death and this is now coupled with an indirect method of compulsion which is of an economic nature which ultimately includes the threat of death. Without this mark people will not be able to buy or sell. We spoke about this briefly a few weeks ago. If we interpret this with the technology of our times the mark of the antichrist could very well be some sort of electronic microchip, a perfected computerized registration system, containing all pertinent personal and financial information regarding a person, a microchip that will replace the need for money, passports, visas, tickets, credit cards and other personal documents. This microchip can also have an inbuilt tracking device to keep check on everyone's movements. The microchip will be enforced so that the antichrist government can have political control over all the inhabitants of the earth, but this is secondary to its true purpose.

Everyone we are told will be required to worship the beast, under threat of death. Many will go into hiding to escape being found, but what happens when they begin to starve and they need to buy food? They will have two options, the first to flee to the mountains and deserts to escape persecution, which, we are told is what the faithful will do with complete faith that the Lord will provide for them. This is not at all easy. It needs a special kind of faith to abandon the comfort of your home and everything you have taken for granted to begin a life in the wild without a roof over your head and not knowing where your next meal will come from. The second and easy way is to give in, accept the mark and worship the beast. Many even among the faithful will succumb to what will seem to them as a life-saving option. Parents especially will be torn between their faith and their children's welfare. Will they be able to subject their young children to the fierce elements of the wild? Will they have the strength to see their children suffer martyrdom? What happens when their child is ill and needs medicine, do they let the child die or will they do anything, even worship the beast, to save their child from death? Others will be tormented with the thought of leaving behind their wealth, their life-savings in the bank which they will not be able to withdraw and even if they manage to withdraw it before the enforcement of the mark, how will they be able to spend it unless they accept the mark? Gold, jewels and everything we now consider precious will be worthless without the mark.
We see then that this mark of the antichrist, this economical embargo has only one intention, a religious function, to force people to worship the antichrist and Satan. We will have a choice, our soul be not be destroyed if the mark it placed on us against our will; the fathers say that the seal will be used as a sign that a person was sealed willingly and consciously and accepts and believes in the Antichrist. Thus it is not the seal that will destroy the soul, but the apostasy from Christ which is the condition of receiving the seal of that number and the material benefits that go with it.
The mark that will be imposed on everyone will be the name of the beast or the number of his name. What is the number of his name? This corresponds to the numerical addition of the letters of his name based on the Greek alphabet. Many have used other numerical systems like English, Latin or Hebrew to calculate the name, for example Nero in Hebrew counts to 666 and using a special code the word computer also has the number 666. What western minds forget is that the New Testament including the Book of Revelation was written in Greek so the number 666 can only be decoded in Greek. The wisdom to calculate 666 must be according to the Greek language not any other.
With ancient Greek, numbers were written using letters as each letter of the Greek alphabet corresponds to a number. This numeric system is still used especially by the church. The Latins also used letters to write numbers, but this was a different system which used only seven letters of the alphabet and therefore cannot be used to give a number to a name. I'm sure you have all come across the Latin numerical system, I is used for a single unit, V for five, X for ten, L for fifty, C for a hundred, D five hundred and M for a thousand.
The Greek system requires 27 letters, 9 letters for the single units 1-9, 9 letters for the tens, and 9 for the hundreds. As the Greek alphabet has only 24 characters three letters which have become obsolete are used to make the 27 letters needed, the digamma ϝ also known as stigma, the qoppa ϟ and the sampi ϡ.
The name of the antichrist will therefore be a name that when calculated according to the Greek numerical system will be 666. In Greek this is written χξϛ. It will therefore not be some kind of birthmark that will appear on the antichrists body as portrayed in the film "Omen" where the mark 666 was a birthmark on the scalp of a boy.
We need to say something about this number because so much has been said over the years that some people are terrified at the sight of three 6's. The number 666 is only a number, there is nothing sinister in it; is it a number that comes after 665 and before 667. To think that the number is of itself evil is to succumb to superstition. St. Gregory Palamas tells us, that no number of itself is evil, for the whole creation, and therefore all numbers, were created good by God.
When we print things having a numerical order in many thousands, like paper money, there are bound to be some notes that have the number 666 somewhere in the number. Should we then assume that those particular notes have something to do with the antichrist, would anyone throw away a €100 note because it contained the number 666?
It is not the number that is the sign of the beast, but the name which makes up this numerical number using the Greek alphabet. The number is not three sixes as many interpreters refer to it, it is a single number 666. If tomorrow you went to the bank to withdraw €666 would you accept €18 instead? You know that €6+€6+€6 does not amount to €666. Yet this is what many interpreters are asking us to accept regarding the number 666.
The number 6 is associated with the number of man because man was created on the sixth day. Thus they say that three sixes must represent a false trinity. But according to this argument each 6 represents a man and the three together represent three men. In our interpretation we saw that there will be a false trinity, Satan, the antichrist and the false prophet, but only two are men the other is a fallen angel. According to scripture this argument doesn't have a leg to stand on. If the number 6 represents man because he was created on the sixth day, then the angelic number is less than 6 because the angels were created at least before the fourth day. We do not know exactly when the angels were created although it is believed that they were created at the same time as heaven which is the first day or just after. It is logical to say that as the earth was created before man as a ready habitation for him, so also heaven was created first before the angels as a ready habitation for them. From scripture we know that the angels were created before the stars which were created on the fourth day because it says in the Book of Job: “When the stars were made, all Mine angels praised Me with a loud voice.” (Job 38:7) It is pointless to try and find a symbolic meaning to the number because there is no symbolism; it is just a number that applies to one person in particular, a number that when decoded will give us the name of the antichrist.
However, if we insist on symbolism there is something we can say concerning the number six. Seven as we have seen many times in the Book of Revelation is representative of fullness and perfection. The seven spirits of God refer to the fullness and the perfection of the Holy Spirit. The Lord rested on the seventh day from his works and Christ rested in the tomb on the seventh day and his soul descended to Hades where he destroyed the works of the devil. If seven is perfection then six represents imperfection falling short of seven. In spiritual terms seven represents man before the fall, living in grace and communion with God, whereas six represents man after the fall, seven minus one, exiled from paradise without the grace of God. The number eight on the other hand, represents resurrection and salvation. The day of Resurrection is referred to by the church as the eighth day, a new day because when the Lord comes this world will no longer exist as we know it; there will be a new heaven and a new earth, not corruptible like it is now, but incorruptible and eternal. The number eight therefore refers to Christ who is the Resurrection and whether it is by coincidence or not, the name of Jesus in Greek Ιησούς, when calculated using the Greek numerical system counts to 888.
We may find all this fascinating, but 888 is again just a number and we do not refer to Jesus by his number, but by his name, and the same applies to the antichrist.
St. John stresses "Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."
What wisdom is John referring to? Apparently he is referring to divine wisdom and not to the product of man's reason and intelligence. St. John wants to stress here that this information he is passing down to the generations of Christians can only be understood through divine revelation and illumination. John himself knows the name but it was one of the things he was told not to write down. This knowledge was only for John and he was not permitted to share this knowledge with the church. That is why he wrote only the number of the name, because with just a number it is almost impossible for us to know who it is as there are many names that make up the number 666. Perhaps this information was also revealed to the other apostles as well, but they also kept it a secret.
But we may ask why is John creating this provocation by saying here is wisdom Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast. This is somewhat provoking, but this provocation is not designed to frustrate the reader, but its purpose is to draw his attention to provoke a healthy curiosity. The reader needs to create an inner sense that the antichrist is coming and each faithful needs to be vigilant. Moreover very many characteristics of the physiognomy of the antichrist have been made available and Holy Scripture is not lacking in this. So the only thing lacking will be the name. Consequently what John is saying is that you will not have any difficulty ascertaining the name if you become knowledgeable of all his other characteristics and when the antichrist comes the vigilant Christian will point him out immediately. Time and experience will reveal the antichrist. Until then we are to remain watchful looking for the many signs Christ has forewarned us of. When the time comes, the faithful will know the identity of the antichrist, which will be confirmed by the witness of the two prophets. If it was necessary for us to know the name in advance, John would have revealed it to us, but the grace of God did not want to have the name of this savage included in the book of Holy Scripture.
As this is our last talk on the Book of Revelation and our last talk of the season I want to use the remaining time to answer some of the questions people most often ask concerning the things mentioned in the Book of Revelation.
One question many people ask is if the so called millennial kingdom will intervene between the coming of the antichrist and the second coming of Christ. The answer is no. Christ appears immediately after the three and a half years after the antichrist. The millennial kingdom has been totally misinterpreted by the Jehovah Witnesses and all protestant millennialists. There will not be a one thousand year kingdom after the coming of the antichrist neither after the coming of Christ. Initially the number 1,000 is used figuratively to denote a long period of time; it is not a specific number like the three and a half years, but a representative number as we saw with the 144,000 which represents the number of the faithful. The thousand years represents the period between the first coming of Christ and the second coming of Christ and is interpreted by all the fathers as the time of the Gospel.
Another question people ask is if the Second Coming of Christ is close at hand. The Lord said concerning his second coming that of that day and hour no man knows. Thus the actual day and hour is not for us to know, however can the general time frame be known? Definitely, because immediately after telling us that the day and hour is not known to man, he gave us a list of signs explaining how the second coming of Christ will take place. And when he gives us signs it means we can generally determine the time frame based on these signs. One of these signs is the coming of the antichrist who must come first. St. Paul was compelled to write about this to the Thessalonians because some false teachers had deceived them that Christ would come in a matter of a few days. Acting upon this information, they gave up their occupations; they closed their shops and generally stopped everything and waited for the coming of Christ. Thus Paul wrote to them saying: "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; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." (2 Thess. 2: 3-4) In short Paul confirms that Christ will not come unless the antichrist comes first.
Each generation has wondered whether their time was the time of the antichrist and throughout history many people were identified as the antichrist only to be proven wrong when that person died. In our generation there are a great many people who believe that we are in the age of the antichrist or very close to it. Indeed the many signs which could not be interpreted in previous centuries, have suddenly become very clear to us and as we progress the meaning of many more signs will come to light. As Christians we must be at all times vigilant and look for the signs, but not to become fearful and despondent because our hope and expectation must remain in the coming of the Lord.
Lastly many people ask who will the antichrist be. The person of the antichrist has been portrayed very well by the Holy Scriptures and has been interpreted by many of the holy fathers. We have seen that he will be a man born of a woman and the seed of an unknown man. The father will be unknown because according to St. John of Damascus, his mother will conceive in fornication, she will be a prostitute knowing many men and will not know herself the identity of the man with whom she will conceive. Another explanation is that the antichrist will be conceived by artificial insemination which again explains why the father will be unknown. St. John of Damascus who lived in the 8th century could not have known about this form of conception which has only been perfected in our times. Certainly as the antichrist is the monkey of Christ, who will assume to mimic Christ in all things, his conception and birth will attempt to mimic the conception and birth of Christ, who was born of a virgin without a human father.
According to St. Andrew of Caesarea and Ecumenius, the antichrist will be a direct descendant of the Jews and more specifically a descendant from the tribe of Dan which is not included among the tribes of Israel in the Book of Revelation. Now we may ask that today there are really no distinct tribes of Israel, how then would we know that the antichrist will be from the tribe of Dan? The Jews today certainly do not keep catalogues of tribes; however these were kept even through the Babylonian captivity and the destruction of Judea. The public records were kept, if not for all the tribes, they were at least kept for the tribe of Judah for the coming of Christ. Based on these public records and catalogues, the Evangelists Matthew and Luke were able to give us the genealogy of Christ. This is significant because they needed to show the precision and fulfilment of the prophecy of Jacob that the expectation of the Messiah will come from Judah. The tribe of Judah remained intact for Jesus Christ and the prophecy was proven true. For the antichrist the prophecy exists that he will come from Jacob's son Dan however it is not imperative for the tribe of Dan to remain intact. The prophecy was partially fulfilled by Samson who was a judge and since part of the prophecy was fulfilled, the rest of it will definitely be fulfilled regardless of the fact that the tribe of Dan is not intact.
According to St. Athanasius the Great the antichrist will come out of Galilee where Christ also came from. Is it coincidence that after eighteen centuries that Galilee is now inhabited by Jews again? Is this not another sign? Galilee did not belong to Israel even in the times of Christ, but after this Israel did not have a country for centuries. The Jews took Galilee only a few years ago and is now inhabited with Jews. Clearly then when the antichrist comes from Galilee we will be of Hebrew descent.
The fathers say that when the antichrist first appears he will hypocritically appear as a man of righteousness, as a man of holiness, but when he takes over he will persecute the Church of God and will expose his entire evil self. Why will he appear as righteous and holy? To influence and win public opinion in order to be elevated to the political arena as a world despot. St. Hippolytus, bishop of Rome, provides much more detail about this external holiness of the antichrist. He says he will be meek, loving, reserved, pious, peace loving, an enemy of injustice, an enemy of bribery. He will not accept gifts, he will be against idolatry, he will say that he loves the scriptures, he will respect the priests and he will honour and respect the elderly. He will despise adultery; he will be against fornication, against slander, against oaths. He will be hospitable, merciful, kind to widows and a patron to orphans. He will love everyone, he will advice people who are fighting to forgive and make up. He will not possess any gold, he will not love money and he will not amass wealth.

What amazing characteristics, a beautiful, holy and extraordinary man. Now if you add to this catalogue of holiness his miraculous power, you will see and understand why people will be deluded. St. Hippolytus adds: When the world community and the public officials see so many virtues and witness his supernatural powers, they will all be of the same opinion and will convene to make him a king saying to each other, is it possible to find another man with such goodness and righteousness in our generation who could govern us? In the beginning when this is offered to the antichrist he will pretend modesty, he will say I am not a saint you're exaggerating, but eventually he will accept and at the beginning of his career he will govern the state of Israel and through Israel he will be elevated as a planet ruler. Then his true nature will appear, he will eliminate every religion on earth including idolatry, because he will not tolerate anyone else to be worshipped other than himself. He will erect the temple of Solomon and there the Jews will accept him as their Messiah. There he will set himself up as God.

As yet attempts to rebuild the temple have failed because the temple mount is controlled by the Muslims, and the Jews have been forbidden to worship there. Also the exact location of the first and second temples has not been verified because the Muslims will not allow Jewish archaeologists to study the area, although it is believed to be 110 meters north of the Dome of the Rock. This has not stopped the Jews in hoping and preparing for the day when the political climate will change and they will be in a position to begin rebuilding the temple.
It is rumoured that the Jews in America have the stones pre-cut and stored in containers to be shipped for the building of the temple. We may ask; is Palestine lacking in stones? After all the temple is not a very large structure, its dimensions are approximately 30m x 8m. The Mosaic Law prohibited stone craftsmen to operate inside Jerusalem. The sound of the hammer and chisel was not to be heard in the city so the stones had to be cut and shaped at a distance, then imported and put in place. This was the will of God at that time and since the Jews supposedly wish to keep the law of God, they have the stones ready to be transported for the building of the temple. The building of the temple is another sign and when we see or hear that its construction is near at hand, we can be sure that the antichrist has already come because as the false messiah, the Jews will accept him as their expected messiah and the temple will only be built during his time. The various gold, silver and copper vessels for the temple and the high priests vestments have already been prepared and can be seen on the Temple Institute's website. Piece by piece, the third temple is taking shape, and a new generation of levite priests have been specially trained for temple service. These too are signs and all this activity in preparation of the temple cannot be interpreted as coincidence or the Jewish hope. Let him who has ears to hear, let him hear.