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Archive for Antichrist

Antichrist, the Beast, and the False Prophet

As a boy I loved dramatic rescues. I was emotionally stirred when the good guys came at just the right moment to save other good guys from an evil enemy. This is going to happen on a large scale in the future. The characters involved are the bad guys – the false trinity of the dragon (Satan), the Antichrist (the beast), and His false prophet – and on the good side, the Lord Jesus Christ – alone. Daniel said that one of the bad guys – the beast – will exalt and magnify himself above every god, will speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and will prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done (Dan. 11:36). The mission of the satanic coalition is to once and forever annihilate the Jewish race from the earth and destroy any residue of the teaching of their God. This adventure will conclude with the battle of the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14). 

 

The antichrist and the false prophet will be armed with tree demon spirits belched out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan). These evil spirits give the dynamic duo power to perform incredible signs capable of catching the favorable attention of the world. These signs also motivate a huge number to join their armies and meet them at the Jezreel Valley near the Mountain of Megiddo. There they plan and launch their assault (Rev. 16:14-16). But God strikes the first blow of the battle. He will destroy the rebuilt capital city of the beast – Babylon (Rev. 18:1–10). Just when things seem to be lining up according to the plan of Satan and the Antichrist, God will determine that Babylon has finally run her course. The great harlot (Babylon), the spider that produced a global web of religious counterfeits, will be dealt God’s death blow (Rev. 18:4-7; Zech. 5:5-11; Jer. 51:24-26). Babylon will become as desolate as Sodom and Gomorrah, completely destroyed by fire. This will be a time of judgment not only for Babylon, but will also spell the doom of anti-God nations that aligned themselves with her (Isa. 13:11–20). She will be burned, and her residue will lie upon the ash pit of history. Many good Bible teachers believe that the scorched earth will a constant visible reminder of God’s judgment throughout the thousand-year reign of the King.

 

When the Antichrist gets word that his capital has been wiped out, he becomes furious. He immediately puts his crosshairs on Jerusalem, the city of God. Repetition! His plans will be to annihilate the city, its occupants, and any remembrance of their God and His teaching. It is my belief that it is at this point that the Antichrist will be indwelt by Satan (Rev. 13:2–5). This, no doubt, signals that he has broken his peace treaty with the Jews (Dan. 9:27). The last three years of the tribulation (called by Christ the great tribulation) will commence (Matt. 24:21). The wicked partnership quickly points their armies toward the holy city. The false prophet takes center stage. He will hastily works to take over the rebuilt Jewish temple and to create an image of Antichrist. He will place the image in the Holy Place demanding the Jews and the world to worship him as god.

 

The warning of Christ now comes alive. “When you see abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains” (Matt. 24:15). There will no longer be doubt as to the identity of the Antichrist. He will be clearly revealed and exposed (2 Thess. 2:8-12).  It is then that the Jews are to run for their lives. God told His people through His prophet Zechariah that their houses would be taken and their women ravaged. Half of the city would be destroyed, but a remnant would be spared (Zech. 12:1-3, 14:1-2). Two-thirds of the Jews would be killed in their attempt to flee the Antichrist. One-third (a remnant) will make it out of the city. This may take days, or weeks – no way to know the timing or the means used to escape. God will supernaturally bring a remnant through the fire and will refine them, as silver is refined. He will test them, as gold is tested (Zech. 13:7–9; Mal. 3:2–3). Thousands of Jews will be hiding and planning their escape. They will most likely be searching for family, transportation, fuel, and food. But where will they go?

 

Thousands of years ago, the prophet Micah laid out God’s rescue plan for His people. God said through Micah that He would put together His remnant and lead them into a sheepfold that He had prepared for them. This is an amazing truth. God provided for His people a candle in great darkness. After hearing the warning of Christ to flee, the surviving Jewish people in Jerusalem will escape. They will leave en masse, heading for the mountains near the Edomite city of Bozrah – in modern Jordan.  God the Holy Spirit has placed His GPS in their hearts to get to the mountains. The name Bozrah means “sheepfold.” What is so amazing is that God prepared his sheepfold right in the midst of the Jews’ sworn enemies, the Edomites. “I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together like a sheep of the fold [Bozrah], like a flock in the midst of their pasture” (Micah 2:12–13). Wow!  It will be there, right at ground zero, in the very heart of their enemies, that God will protect His remnant from Satan and the Beast. This is just like the God that we worship. He makes the impossible possible. There in the caves, the hills, and rock slopes (Petra, rocks), God will gather and shelter His people. He will hide them right in the eye of the storm. They will be hidden in plain sight. The battle will be raging around them, but His sheep will be safe in the Shepherd’s hands. Amazing! Stay safe and stay tuned.  

The Beast

We are anticipating the return of our King – the Lord Jesus Christ. The King promised that He is coming again (Jn. 14:1-3). Jesus connected His return directly to the appearance of one called the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet (Matt. 24:15). We shot back to the book of Daniel tracing the identity and appearance of this abomination. We began with God’s prediction that five nations will rule over the earth (Dan. 2:39). Babylon, the Medes and Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, and a fifth empire yet to come – all named hundreds of years in advance (Isa. 46:9-10).
After Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, we jump to the dream of Belshazzer (Dan. 7:2-3) The dream is much the same with added details. The king saw four great beasts coming out of the sea (of nations): a lion (again Babylon), a lopsided bear (Medo-Persia), a leopard (Greece), and a dreadful beast with no name. This beast is Rome. The beast with no name is the Roman empire, spreading into the worship of paganism and the spread of the Muslims (the worship of Allah). That possibility ought to get the reader’s attention. Rome, with the strength of iron, was different from all the other nations. How? Its difference was not its strength, though its army crushed any nation that stood in its way. It was different in that for the first time in recorded history it had a republican government (SPQR), the people and senate of Rome. The Caesar’s were their presidents and Rome practiced imperialism.
When Babylon, the Medes and Persians, and the Greeks conquered nations, they would allow the conquered people to rule themselves. Sometimes, they would mix in some of their own people with those conquered in order to cause conflict. The people would fight amongst themselves and keep the nations from plotting rebellions. All the conquering nations wanted was tribute – taxes, gold, riches. When Rome conquered nations, it put its own rulers in charge. It literally took over militarily, politically, and economically. This is imperialism.
Rome had its foot on the neck of Israel when Jesus came. Recall one Herod the Great? Jesus provided the great hope that at last the people would be free from this Roman government. Revelation 13 speaks of a beast coming out of the sea (of nations) like a leopard, a bear, and a lion (sound familiar?). I ask the reader to carefully read through this chapter. The dragon (Satan) gives power, a throne, and great authority to the beast (Rev. 13:1-2). The beast is killed and is miraculously raised from the dead, or so it will appear (Rev. 13:3-4). God gives this beast authority to rule for forty-two months or three and a half years. He speaks great things and blasphemes the God of heaven (Rev. 13:5-6). This one will make war with the saints and all will worship him whose names are not written in the book of life (Rev. 13:7-8). This is terrifying!
It is at this point that God says, “If anyone has an ear let him hear” (Rev. 13:9-10). This means that not everyone believes this. Another beast comes out of the earth. This second beast is the first beast’s press agent. He has horns like a lamb. He will give the appearance of being gentle, loving, and kind, but he will speak like a dragon (Rev. 13: 11). He convinces the world to worship the first beast (Rev. 13:12). This false prophet will at first draw world-wide attention to himself by performing amazing signs, even calling down fire from heaven (Rev. 13:13). His masterpiece will be to appear to raise the beast from the dead (Rev. 13:12). Having secured a great following, he commands that the world worship the beast (Rev. 13:13-17). This will be done in the Holy Place of a rebuilt Jewish temple.
Now we are jettisoned back to recall the words of Jesus. When you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the Holy Place. Amazing! His number is the famous 666 (Rev. 13:18). Remember his claims to deity and his many attempts to convince the world that He is the Messiah. The Jews have a coded numbering system. Three is the number of perfection, and six is the number of a man. Though this beast claims to be god, he is a man, he is a man, he is a man – not only that, but he is perfectly human – he is not God. More on this later. And, oh by the way, John tells us not to worship him (the beast) and do not take his number in your forehead or on your hand (Rev. 14:9). Stay safe and stay tuned.

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