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When will the lawless one be revealed? The answer to this question matters plenty, as documented at length in Part 1 of The Sign for the Bride. If you haven't read that recently and thoroughly, I recommend doing so before proceeding.
So, how do we know when? Students of history have long observed that events with similar themes tend to occur on anniversaries of the same day, as accounted on the Lord's calendar. In keeping with this trend, the revealing of the lawless one is foreshadowed in biblical events that occurred on the thirteenth day of the first month! As we keep vigilant watch according to the Lord's commands we see signs validating this insight into the timing and our confidence is encouraged. Our faith is built in the Lord's faithfulness as He attends to our growing need.
The Adversary works toward this appointed day and prepares his own people as the Lord prepares His. The Devil's agents have been busy spilling the beans about their plans in media productions, giving us coded examples of the day of the year and sometimes even the year of their champion's revealing. For many years, fraudulent supernatural manifestations of a kind that began in Fatima, Portugal in 1917 have borne further testimony of this day. A former Pope who still lives at the Vatican was born and baptized on the same day, that very 13th day of the 1st month, which affords us insight into the companion beast of Revelation 13 known as the false prophet.
It should become apparent at some point in this study that the Lord Y'shua is faithful, who has promised to reveal all things at the appropriate time in the appropriate manner! This is what we need to avoid being deceived! If one can have the confidence to refute even a prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from the highest authority in the church in the absence of the sign, we must also be able to have a very high degree of confidence in our ability to recognize it in the day of strong delusion. Knowing what day of the year the sign will occur provides something approaching that level of confidence. Now that even the very year is known, this represents a substantial benefit.
At the appointed time, what this knowledge represents will provide for those who are not deceived to be a special witness to others. Those beneficiaries will have an epiphany about the baptism that reveals, about the identity of the impostor and through that, the genuine! (What Will Their Acceptance be but Life from the Dead?)
This first type of the lawless one I'd like to introduce is rather obscure. Barabbas is introduced in the Gospels where Jesus was delivered up before Pontius Pilate and the Jews had just been given one final opportunity to receive him as their King. A choice was offered to them according to the custom of releasing one prisoner to the Jews at Passover time.
17 So when the people gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” ~ Matthew 27:17
All four Gospels record this event, which is a notable feature. (Matthew 27:11-26; Mark 15:6-15; Luke 23:13-25; John 18:28-19:16 )
6 Now at the feast he used to release for them any one prisoner whom they requested. 7 The man named Barabbas had been imprisoned with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the insurrection. 8 The crowd went up and began asking him to do as he had been accustomed to do for them. 9 Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he was aware that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to ask him to release Barabbas for them instead. 12 Answering again, Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” 13 They shouted back, “Crucify Him!” 14 But Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify Him!” 15 Wishing to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified. ~ Mark 15:6-15
Although Pilate was highly motivated to release Jesus, the Jews demanded another. They rejected Jesus who is called Christ and accepted one Barabbas, a robber, murderer and insurrectionist. To understand this prophetic model it helps to know an obscure fact. According to some of the manuscripts used by Origen, several of the Caesarean manuscripts, the Sinaitic palimpsest, and the Palestinian Syriac lectionaries, this man Barabbas was actually named in Matthew's gospel record as Jesus Barabbas. (see Jesus Barabbas) The name, Jesus Barabbas, further translates to Jesus “son of the father.” Think about how the choice they were offered was between two men who could both be identified as Jesus “son of the father.”
I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. ~ John 5:43
Barabbas was involved in political insurrection, in robbery, murder and rebellion. Who is this man's father? The deeds of Barabbas betray his father as the same one who fathered the chief priests who stirred up the crowd to receive him, according to our Lord's declaration in John 8.
You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. ~ John 8:44
Forget about what you've seen on TV and heard in the pulpits and seminaries about this character. Jesus Barabbas represents an antithesis of the Jesus who was rejected, the sinless only begotten son of the Heavenly father. Pilate's offering is a prophetic model of what is to come. “Whom do you want me to release for you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” Antichrist, or Christ, which will it be? Jesus Barabbas was demanded and received by the crowd. As it was, so it will be in the appointed day.
Now, here's the key insight. Careful study will reveal that these two men were offered to the crowd on the day before Jesus was crucified. He was crucified as the Passover Lamb, sacrificed according to tradition on the 14th day of the 1st month. Jesus Barabbas, an alternate “Jesus son of the father” identity, was therefore presented for release, demanded and received on the 13th day of the 1st month. When you realize the significance of these historical modelings you will understand how the sacrifice of the Passover lamb and the custom of releasing one prisoner at the people's request were ordained so that we might have such a testimony as this, where attention given to the dates really matters!
Note that Jesus Barabbas had been a prisoner, restrained by the authorities, and consider well how this relates to the following revelation about the antitype.
And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:6
In Part 1, I wrote the following about this verse. “The point being made about keeping pneuma antichristos in check is that there is a set time for this. There is a season for restraining and a fit moment appointed for its release.” Pilate knew the appointed time for releasing a prisoner from his restraints was the time of the Feast. The chief priests and elders of the people also knew the time appointed for the release of a prisoner, and they probably had this custom in mind when planning the set-up, making the arrangement with Judas to betray Jesus to them. Do you perceive how the knowing of the time of the prisoner's release in advance is being illustrated? Some of us understand about appointed times, and when the lawless one is revealed on the 13th day of the 1st month, we will not be taken by surprise.
There's more links between the account of Barabbas and 2 Thessalonians 2 to be found in the conversation between Jesus and Pilate. In 2 Thessalonians 2:10 and 12 we read about receiving the love of the truth and believing the truth, in the context of being saved and of judgment. Compare this pertinent exchange on the subject of truth, and how a flipped “Barabbas” variant is coming soon.
36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” 37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” ~ John 18:36-38
The other realm is referenced, where my Lord's kingdom or authority still is. The realm of pneuma antichristos authority is by contrast the underworld, and it is even now of this world, of this present kosmos.
Another cryptic time element embedded in the context of the Barabbas prophecy is the Shemitah count pattern that identifies this present season to us as the pivot of the age. I explain this at length in the blog series, To Number Our Days Aright. The pattern is where 3 things of a kind are followed by a 4th of a similar kind, but something notable happens in the 4th that distinguishes it from the first 3. This pattern represents weeks of years counted off from the celestial sign of Yom Teruah, 1991. I received it by revelation insight about Peter and his 3 instances of denial followed by a rooster crowing. You can see this pattern in the way the account of John 18 is given. In verses 25 to 27, Peter is denying the Lord, then he hears the rooster crow. In this context, it's a prophetic signal that we're in the season of the harvest. What follows is the account where Barabbas is going to be demanded and released.
That's one example, and here's another of the same Shemitah count pattern.
20 Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, 21 but they kept on calling out, saying, “Crucify, crucify Him!” 22 And he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; therefore I will punish Him and release Him.” 23 But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their voices began to prevail. 24 And Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted. 25 And he released the man they were asking for who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, but he delivered Jesus to their will. ~ Luke 23:20-25
Three times Pilate appeals to the crowd, but there is no change. Then he makes one more appeal, for absolution, with a token gesture, washing his hands of the matter. According to pattern, in that 4th instance in series, he releases the prisoner they demand, Jesus “son of the father.”
The Lord speaks to us through the subtle language of patterns about times and seasons so we are prepared in advance for the critical transitions of the ages. That's His habit, and He is consistent and faithful.
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More to follow, Lord willing.