For the last three times we have been together, I have been writing about the end times. If you are new, this is intended to familiarize you with the events that are prophesied to occur at the end of the age. So far, we have:
Discussed the signs that let us know we are in the last days.
Studied the rapture: what it is and when it will occur.
Defined the Tribulation and the signs of its arrival.
This time, we will take a look at some significant people and events of the Tribulation.
The Tribulation will be the most traumatic period in the history of the world. During this period, God will pour out His wrath upon the earth in a series of judgments which are described at length in the book of Revelation.
Satan will be unusually active during the Tribulation and his work will center around two individuals.
The Antichrist is a man who will be given enormous power by Satan. He will use this power to become the dominant leader of the world.
Revelation 13:1-2: “Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. Verse 7-8: “And it was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given to him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
The book of Revelation, as well as most prophetic literature is written in figurative language. Each description of the Antichrist details a feature of his nature or dominion. In Revelation, he is called, “the beast.” In Daniel 9:26, he is called, “the prince who is to come.” Whatever the description, this man will be enormously powerful and deceptive. He will not only rule over the world politically but will also use his power to become the object of the world’s worship. Yet, the worship of this man will be more than the worship of a man; it will be overt worship of Satan himself.
Revelation 13:4: “So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast.”
The Antichrist will probably initially appear on the scene as a man of peace. He will guarantee peace for Israel and the Middle East by brokering a seven year peace treaty. It appears that this treaty will include the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. After this, he will begin to assert his power. He will initially have power over one nation. He will then conquer three more nations and then, assume authority over a ten nation federation which will lead to his power over the entire world.
His plan for world domination (probably described as “world peace”) will include three tenets:
One world currency
One world government
One world religion
His society will be cashless with every transaction electronically monitored. He will accomplish this by each person receiving a mark on their right hand or on their forehead which will be necessary to buy and sell.
How can a man rise to such authority?
Possibly by emulating the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Revelation 13:3: “I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.”
In response to rebellion, war, or even the prophetic ministry of the two witnesses of God in Jerusalem, the Antichrist will go to Jerusalem and stop all sacrifice to anyone other than himself and will declare himself to be god. He will persecute Israel and those who are Christians. His maniacal reign will only be stopped through divine intervention of the Lord Himself.
- False Prophet
The False Prophet will assist the Antichrist by performing miracles which will cause the entire world to worship the Antichrist and Satan. This demonic religious man will even be able to make an image of the beast “come to life” to deceive the people. He will make fire come down from heaven and will be a major part of the deception of promoting the Antichrist as God. It is through the False Prophet, that the plan for one world currency and religion is conceived and enforced.
Revelation 13:11-17: “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire to come from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
At the end of the Tribulation, the Antichrist and the False Prophet will be defeated in war by Jesus in the presence of His followers and they will be locked away in the lake of fire forever.
Next time, I’ll write a little about the Second Coming of Christ.