Antichrist as Amalek

Status
Not open for further replies.

Parakaleo

Puritan Board Sophomore
In preaching through 1 John, I've made my people aware of the various theories surrounding the antichrist figure. Some say Nero, the pope, Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler, Obama, etc. However, I've taught that the Reformed, amillennial understanding allows the antichrist figure to be a human embodiment of the enemy of Christ throughout different ages (like saying "the pope in Rome" is the antichrist, without reference to a particular pontiff). The antichrist, as I've understood the texts, is a prominent person, a man of lawlessness, that sets himself up against the Lord's Anointed and His people in any age.

That got me thinking about what the Lord says in Exodus 17 about Amalek:

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The LORD Is My Banner, saying, “A hand upon the throne of the LORD! The LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

This sounds quite a lot like the NT antichrist figure. Though Amalek is defeated, the Lord will have war with him from generation to generation. Not that Amalek himself will survive for generations to come, but the Lord will have war with the human embodiment of Amalek in all ages. This, to me, fits well with the lack of specificity associated with the NT antichrist figure (even though John says he "is now in the world already", 1 Jn. 4:3). He is Amalek.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
I wouldn't try to back-migrate an idea in history. Within a century of the time when the Westminster Divines were meeting, some theologians were quite insistent upon figuring out which of the earliest popes should be considered the original one. With that date, one could count 1,000 years to calculate the start of a golden age for the church. George Marsden does a great job with tbis idea in his biography on Jonathan Edwards. So the divines were likely seeing the papacy itself as The Antichrist rather than one among many. I can be corrected, but it seems that the generalized application of the term is part of the Biblical theological developments of the last 150 years or so, at least as a clear articulation. I can argue the Paul was amil, but the nuances of what that means has been worked out over the centuries.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Blake, have you seen Kim Riddlebarger's work, The Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth About the Antichrist? He provides good OT background, as well as the Gospels, Epistles, and Revelation, tying all the various threads into one coherent whole. I think it's the best treatment on the subject; and it's from the amil position. He also interacts with Warfield's view (the antichrist is only a spirit, not a person, which manifests throughout the age).
 
Last edited:

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I think it is Vos' NT eschatology which re-historicises antichrist in terms of the OT so as to bring out his essential character, but I do not think it should lead to the idea of repeated fulfilments.

Building on Vos' redemptive-historical work, my own understanding is that "antichrist" and the "man of sin" are covenantally related terms, and cannot apply outside the covenant people. The direct fulfilment is in Israel as a covenant nation, and marked a part of her "end times" before "perfection" came ("perfection" in terms of God's redemptive plan which had been hidden in ages past).

There is an indirect application of this to the Roman apostacy, which is practically marked by the same characteristic of Israel's apostacy in denying that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, when it sets up the church and her ministry in the place of Christ.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top