Antichrist  —  Dan Gilbert L.L.D.

 •  12 min. read  •  grade level: 7
One of our subscribers, who lives on the eastern coast of Canada, sent us a pamphlet, on the front cover of which is found the following:
"Who Will Be the ANTICHRIST
Human Ignorance says:
`Nobody Knows'
But the Word of God says:
`Everybody Ought to Know!'
The book will astound you, as it
tells exactly who the Antichrist will be
These words on the cover of this small book are very sensational, and many Christians eagerly grasp for such literature. It is seldom, if ever, however, that sensationalism and spiritual truth come bound in the same book or package. Real spiritual truth does not need human sensationalism to commend it, or to attract readers. Elijah, a man of God, had a lesson to learn when he found out that God was not in the earthquake, the fire, or the wind, but in the still small voice which spoke to him.
As might be expected, Mr. Gilbert's first chapter is devoted to belittling all who came before him. He speaks of "prophetic experts" as "those who let their imaginations run riot"; but it would be hard indeed to find a more pronounced case of this very thing than that exhibited in Mr. Gilbert's book. Now let us proceed to look at the subject of "the antichrist" which Mr. Gilbert has reduced to an equation that distinguishes him. We wonder if he is not one of those of whom the Apostle Paul spoke as coming: "And from among your own selves shall rise up men speaking perverted things to draw away the disciples after them." Acts 20:3030Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (Acts 20:30); J. N. D. Trans.
Let us examine the word antichrist. It is found only five times in the 'Word of God, and one of them is, "even now are there many antichrists." All five occurrences are in the first and second epistles of John. It was an anti-Christian doctrine then present of denying Jesus as the Christ, and denying the Father and the Son. It has increased until today the very atmosphere of Christendom is permeated with it.
Mr. Gilbert will say that we know what he means by "the antichrist," but in all the confusion of his book that is hard to tell. We know that the term has generally come to be applied to either of two men who will appear at the end—one the head of the revived Roman Empire, and the other the king of the Jews in Jerusalem at the same time. But notice the confusion of the book in question.
He calls him "The Idol Shepherd," and this term comes from Zech. 11, where Christ is prophetically commissioned of Jehovah as the Shepherd of Israel; but on being refused, by them, they will get the false shepherd, the idol shepherd, or shepherd of nothingness. He is the same man spoken of in John 10 as the "hireling," for both leave the flock when it is in trouble; whereas Christ as the true Shepherd of Israel gave Himself for the sheep.
But Mr. Gilbert goes into the bog when he says: "Antichrist is 'The Vile Person,' " who is mentioned only in Dan. 11:2121And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. (Daniel 11:21). While it was prophecy when it was given, it is old history now. The "Vile Person" called himself "Antiochus Epiphanes," or "Antiochus the Illustrious," but his subjects called him "Epimanes," or the "mad man." He was the hater of the Jews in the days of the Maccabees. He was from Syria, the land to the north of Palestine.
Mr. Gilbert's antichrist is also called "The Spoiler." That expression is found in Jer. 51:5656Because the spoiler is come upon her, even upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of their bows is broken: for the Lord God of recompences shall surely requite. (Jeremiah 51:56), and there it is the destroyer of Babylon in the past. His application is certainly wrong usage. Other uses of "spoiler" in nearby passages are also connected with the past.
In Mr. Gilbert's same sentence with "The Spoiler," is linked "The Desolator." The only reference to this that we know of is found in Dan. 9:2727And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:27): "and because of the protection of abominations [or, idols] there shall be a desolator." J. N. D. Trans. In other words, because the Jews under their "king" will work hand in glove with the Roman beast, and even put his image in the temple, there will be a desolator; that is, the Assyrian, or "king of the north," will come down against Palestine as a desolator. How then is the antichrist called "The Desolator"? It is compounded folly.
And, again, Mr. Gilbert goes awry and says: "Antichrist is... 'The Wicked and Profane Prince.' " And where does he get this expression? Eze. 21:2525And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, (Ezekiel 21:25). It says, "And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel." Shall we call this folly, or plain ignorance? The man in question in this chapter is Zedekiah, a former king of Israel, who made a promise to Nebuchadnezzar in the name of Jehovah and broke it. This was solemn. God calls him a profane and wicked prince. And yet this modern, last word of prophetic teachers applies it to a man he calls the antichrist.
But why should we waste time pointing out one incongruity after another? Is not this book the work of one whose imagination has "run riot"?
We just noticed another remark of Mr. Gilbert's:
"He [antichrist] will perform great wonders and prodigious marvels, and will deceive the very elect into worshiping him as God."
Perhaps he will call this a printer's error; but the Lord said, that the false prophet, the coming king of the Jews, will perform such miracles "that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matt. 24:2424For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:24)). No, he will not deceive God's elect, and the Word does not say so; but "if it were possible" his miracles would do it; it is not possible. Then this neo-prophet goes on in the same paragraph and connects this false king of the Jews with the head of the revived Roman Empire, as though they were one and the same. He goes on to Rev. 13 to speak of, "He is 'wounded to death; and his deadly wound is healed.' "
This is not the Jew in Jerusalem, but a Gentile political head of the great Western confederacy.
And here Mr. Gilbert quotes Arthur W. Pink (calling him Reverend, although he had no such title), saying that this man will raise himself from the dead. Preposterous! Is he God? Who but God has the power of resurrection? *
Mr. Gilbert not only mixes in confusion many ugly names and applies them to the man he calls "the antichrist," although, as we have seen, Scripture uses them to designate Zedekiah, Antiochus Epiphanes, the future northern enemy of Israel—"the king of the north"—the one beast of Revelation 13 and then the other; but he applies certain names and titles to the Lord Jesus Christ that are not applicable. In the Song of Solomon, it is the bride who says, "I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys." Chap. 2:1. Mr. Gilbert says that these are names of Christ. A careful perusal of this verse in its connection will prove him to be wrong.
Now let us look at more fantastic error. Mr. Gilbert says, "Antichrist will be Judas come to earth again."
In order to make this point, he says that, "Christ plainly and clearly taught that Judas was the Devil-man. In Matt. 26:2424The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. (Matthew 26:24) and elsewhere, Christ calls Judas 'a man.' But he also called him 'a Devil.' John 6:7070Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? (John 6:70). `Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a Devil?' The correct translation of course, is the Devil. There is only one Devil, although there are many demons. Christ did not say that Judas was led or influenced or controlled by the Devil. He said he was the Devil—incarnate in human form." (Italics Mr. Gilbert's.)
*We would call our reader's attention to an article we ran in Christian Truth, in which we examined other teachings of Mr. Arthur W. Pink. It is still available in pamphlet form, entitled, "Arminianism versus Calvinism"—a 40-page book the size of Christian Truth. Poor man, Mr. Pink; he is now with the Lord, but his erroneous writings remain.
NOW THIS IS UNVARNISHED ERROR. It is sensationalism "run riot." The Lord did not say that Judas was "the Devil." There is absolutely no foundation for this in the Greek text. The definite article is NOT there, and not one translation that we have ever seen gives it "the Devil." Judas was A MAN, but a man only. (At the end, "Satan entered into him" to be sure that he completed the nefarious act. He did not trust it to a demon. See John 13:2727And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. (John 13:27).)
Would Mr. Gilbert say that Peter was also a devil-man because the Lord on one occasion said to him, "Get thee behind Me, Satan"? Peter in that instance was speaking for Satan. It means that and nothing more. Judas was to do the work of the devil in betraying his Lord with a kiss—a most despicable thing, an infamous act.
There is no such thing in Scripture as a devil-man, but Mr. Gilbert takes John 8:4444Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44) ("When he [Satan] speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it") to attempt to prove that because he is called the father of a lie, or of lies, he must have a son. From this he jumps off on the tangent that Judas was Satan incarnate. This is not even wishful thinking; it is an aberration; it is worse than nonsense. Has God enabled Satan to reproduce a half-devil, half-man being on earth? But Mr. Gilbert says:
"Judas was more-than-man. He was Devil-man."
Then he speaks of Satan sending his son Judas to the earth to counter Christ's work. And yet the man who says such irrational things refers to those who have other thoughts as having "deranged imagination"!! He does not hesitate to call those who disagree with him, "prophetic theorists, schemers, and day-dreamers."
From this bold step of calling Judas the son of Satan, he jumps to another untenable position. He calls his "antichrist" (It is hard to tell just who he is supposed to be after his naming Antiochus, Zedekiah, the "king of the north," etc., besides the Jewish king in Jerusalem, and the head of the revived Roman Empire) the" 'perfect blending' of the human and the Satanic, that he will be the very Son of Satan,"
and then claims that this is "clearly taught in Scripture."
Our comment is that people who will accept this will believe almost anything. He further says that antichrist
"will be Satan come to earth and clothed in flesh as Christ was God come to earth and tabernacled in flesh." This borders on blasphemy!
This self-appointed prophetic teacher—more prophet himself than teacher—says, "As God is preparing to send His Son to earth, so Satan is preparing to send his son to earth."
Then in another place we get this consummate nonsense: "It not only is logical; it is plainly taught in Scripture! Satan's son has already been to earth; and when he comes again, it will be his second coming."
What did this writer say about "deranged imaginations"?
Mr. Gilbert takes Eze. 28, which most sound writers have taken to be an indirect way of God's telling us of Satan's origin and fall, correctly as to the "king of Tyrus"; but when the same chapter speaks of the "prince of Tyrus," it speaks of its then proud king who was to be brought down by God's judgment. The city of Tire fell, as God had appointed. There is this connection, that Tire was filled with pride, and Satan fell through pride; BUT THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO BASIS IN FACT for supposing that "the prince of Tyrus" is Satan's son. The old "prince of Tyrus" no doubt acted in a similar way to that of the future "king" in Jerusalem. But much of Mr. Gilbert's foible as to the antichrist depends on this inexcusable interpretation of Eze. 28
This innovator of strange things uses "Satan manifest in flesh" in quotation marks as though it were in Scripture. It is a perversion of "God manifest in the flesh." It is an unlawful paraphrase.
Many prophetic teachers have applied Rev. 13:1818Here 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. (Revelation 13:18) to the antichrist; it does apply to the head of the revived Roman Empire, so if that is their view the verse would be applicable, although many of the best teachers prefer, in using the name antichrist, to apply it to the religious Jew in Palestine who comes as their Messiah, albeit he is entirely false. This is also our considered judgment. But let us look at this verse:
"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." If Mr. Gilbert had understanding, he might have given us the meaning of 666, but this he carefully avoids. Many people have been puzzled to find a solution for this, but no sensible one has yet appeared. (The number "six" denotes man, and it is short of "seven," which is used for perfection in Scripture.) Needless to say, when the time comes, those on earth who have faith in God will be able to perceive it. The Christians will not be here then, so we need not know. We look for the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, not for either beast of Rev. 13, and certainly not for a reincarnated Judas Iscariot. His soul and spirit have long since been in torment in hades; and hell will be his final portion after the last resurrection. There the whole wicked man will be—body, soul, and spirit.
Dear Christian reader, beware of teachers of new things, that come newly up (Deut. 32:1717They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. (Deuteronomy 32:17)), and attract many. We have the perfect and abiding Word of God, and we have good, solid written ministry based on the Bible. May we be careful of the writers whose writings we read. Paul said to Timothy, "Thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, charity, patience." 2 Tim. 3:1010But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, (2 Timothy 3:10). He warned his son in the faith of false teachers, and gave his own credentials. We have a responsibility to check on the authors of what we read, and to prove all things by the Holy Scriptures. It is better not to get false and erroneous ideas into our minds. Our only reason for speaking of them is to warn others and at the same time point out some elements of sound doctrine.
"Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge." Pro. 19:2727Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge. (Proverbs 19:27).
Never cut the knot of a difficulty in Scripture, but wait until God unties it for you. There are difficulties in His Word. What is to be done with them? Submit to them; own that you do not understand; pray to God till, in the use of all right means, He clears them up. But never force the Word of God.