Jewish Eschatology and the Anti-Christ
In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, we see a description of an individual that parallels one given by Daniel, and repeated again in Revelation. "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; ".
This person, the "man of sin", or "son of perdition", is the same one referred to by Daniel when he speaks in chapter 9, verse 27: "And 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."
Jesus makes reference to this passage in Mat. 24:15; "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)".
John, in Revelation 13:1, says; "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy."
In each of these instances, we see a description of the person commonly known in Christian circles as "the anti-christ", or false christ. This is an individual that, according to scripture and prophecy, will rise to power at the end of the last days, and begin exerting influence and power over the entire world. He and his kingdom (power, principality) are the target of the wrath of God poured out in the 21 judgments depicted in Revelation, and the time of the "tribulation" and "great tribulation".
Considering the number of references that are made in scripture to this "beast", and the obvious connections made between he and the devil, it seems pretty obvious that any student of prophecy and scripture would be able to recognize him when he begins to show his ugly face, and also know that what comes next is bad news, so he is someone (thing) to be avoided at all costs.
Scripture also shows us, though, that this individual is going to be not only allowed to rise to his position of power, but that in many respects he will be assisted in that rise, and will be given great faith and credence by many people, not the least of whom is Israel.
How can that be, you might say. The people of Israel have been led by God for millennia, and they are His people, and He is their God. He has talked to them, and warned them. Won't they, of all people, be able to recognize this bad boy when he comes around?
Recently, I got to pondering on the question of just how it is that, with all the warnings given in prophecy, the Hebrews could arrive at a point of accepting him, and even assisting him in his devilish endeavors. As I searched for an answer, something