3. The Antichrist: How Will We Recognize Him?
The Second Coming of Christ and the End Times
Where is the World Going?
To answer the question of how we will recognize the Antichrist, we have to look closely at the prophetic Scriptures to see the plan of Satan. The biblical worldview is that Satan is a usurper and at war with God and has managed, through man's giving in to temptation in the Garden of Eden, to gain control over the whole world:
We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one (1 John 5:19).
Question 1) What do you think is Satan's aim or end goal in the days we live?
In the wilderness temptation of Christ, Satan led Christ to a high place and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in an instant. He said to Jesus, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours” (Luke 4:6-7). Christ came as fully Man to regain the dominion of the world given to Adam at the beginning in the Garden of Eden by becoming a substitutionary sacrifice and taking the death penalty for all who would receive His gift of forgiveness. Satan's temptation was for Christ to avoid the cross by subjecting Himself to Satan's authority. The Lord did not dispute Satan's claim to be given the kingdoms of this world. Although God is sovereign over His creation, this world is under Satan's control for just a bit longer until Christ comes.
My mother-in-law likes to do 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles. When I help her, I look at the box cover to get an idea of the big picture and then arrange the pieces on the board. When I see the big picture, it is easier to look at the details and get them into some order. Some of her jigsaw puzzles, though, have no picture on the cover, and one has to put pieces similarly colored together and, piece by piece, fit the whole picture together. Biblical prophecy is to put prophetic pieces together on the board of life so that we may see what will happen and be warned ahead of time. What big picture does God want us to see concerning Satan's strategy or end game? His objective and plan is to try to be like God. In a prophetic word about the future destiny of Satan, Isaiah the prophet writes about what motivates him. Notice how many times he is quoted as speaking about his will and plans:
12How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.14I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” 15But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit. 16Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: “Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, 17the man who made the world a wilderness, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?” (Isaiah 14:12-17).
A spiritual enemy seeks to control the world and its resources under a trinity of evil, Satan, the Antichrist, and his False Prophet. These three have a unified objective—to bring about a one-world government and have an Antichrist at the head. Satan wants to make himself like the Most High and sit enthroned on the Mount of Assembly (v. 13) and for everyone on earth to reject Christ and worship Satan. Where is the Mount of Assembly? There is only one place on Earth where God has chosen to dwell, Mount Moriah (Genesis 22:2; 2 Chronicles 6:6), where Abraham offered up his son, Isaac. At Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, Solomon was told to build a temple to the Lord (2 Chronicles 3:1). Here is where the Lord commanded the Israelites to assemble. The Second Temple, restored by King Herod, was destroyed in 70AD, and now, at the center of Jerusalem, the 37-acre Temple Mount is occupied by the Muslim Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock. There is no temple to God in Jerusalem. God promised Solomon and the Jewish people that His Name would always be there and that His eyes and heart would watch over that place set apart to Him:
I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there” (2 Chronicles 7:16).
Satan desires for the world to worship him through the man whom he has chosen to indwell, the man called the Antichrist. Just as God is in Christ, Satan will be in this man. In his pride and vanity, he desires to sit in a rebuilt temple of God and receive worship and praise as the king of the world. For His own reasons, God will allow the Antichrist to sit in a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. When this event occurs, it will be confirmed to all that this man is the Antichrist, who facilitates great persecution of all who will not worship him. Paul, the apostle, writes about what Satan's man, the Antichrist, will do:
He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
The Antichrist will be an egocentric man. He will exalt himself above all things godly. This act of self-adulation is the same thing we read about in the Book of Revelation; there will come a time when a religious figure (the False Prophet) will set up an image of the Antichrist in the temple of God. This image is given “breath” and an ability to speak. The image set up will, in some way, cause all who refuse to worship the image to be killed:
…It [the second beast, a man called the False Prophet in Revelation 19:20] ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast [Antichrist] who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed (Revelation 13:14-15 Emphasis mine).
This image could be a hologram or a 3D statue set up in the rebuilt temple of God. I presume that there is some link to the mark that is forced upon those who do not obey the Lord Jesus, that if at some point they do not worship Antichrist; they will be killed, perhaps by something in the mark itself. This kind of control will be one of the reasons why those who love and obey Christ will refuse the mark. This mark on the hand or forehead will bring about a significant level of physical or psychological control by the Antichrist and False Prophet. You might have noticed that, over decades and incremental degrees, the world's banking, media, education, energy, food, and resources have is now under almost total control of those who want a one-world government.
As well as Paul the Apostle, Jesus forewarned us about events relating to the worship of an image, not of God, that will happen in the future. When Christ’s disciples asked the question, “What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?" (Matthew 24:3). Among some signs (which we will look at in a later session), Jesus replied:
“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—then let those in Judea flee to the mountains…” (Matthew 24:15).
The word Abomination in Greek is “Bdelygma;” from bdelyssomai, to turn away through loathing or disgust, abhor. An abominable thing. This verse of Scripture is an urgent warning from Jesus because He adds the phrase, "let the reader understand." So what is it that we are to understand? We need to go back to the prophecies of Daniel and look at a passage in Daniel 9:
He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven,' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him (Daniel 9:27).
We won't go into the bulk of the prophecy for the sake of time. If you want to explore it further, just set your search engine to the words, the Seventy Weeks of Daniel, and you will come up with many thoughts to explore in depth. My focus in this study is verse 27. There will be a leader who will come that will defile the temple of God in Jerusalem. The sacrifices and offerings to God will be stopped, and he will set up what is called “the Abomination of Desolation.” I believe this leader to be the Antichrist fulfilling the desires of his master Satan to sit enthroned in the temple of God in Jerusalem.
How Will We Recognize the Antichrist?
What will happen to cause a desecration of the Jewish Temple? If you were to speak to a Jewish historian about Daniel’s prophecy of the Abomination of Desolation, not knowing the prophecy of Jesus or Paul (Rabbis forbid Jews to read the New Testament), he would tell you that Antiochus IV Epiphanes fulfilled Daniel’s prophecy. This man was an evil Greek king that ruled over Syria and the Israelite nation from 171BC to 165BC after the breakup of Alexander the Great’s kingdom. Antiochus believed he was a god, even to the point of putting the word for God into his name, changing it to Antiochus Theos Epiphanes. He thought that everybody should confess him as "Antiochus, the visible god." Antiochus not only signed a peace treaty with Israel but also broke the peace treaty in 168 BC and set up a statue of Zeus, the king of the Greek gods, in the Temple Courts with its face looking like Antiochus. He then sacrificed a pig to this statue, took the blood of the pig, and sprinkled it in the Most Holy of Holies in the Temple of Jerusalem. He then tried to force everyone to worship the statue of Zeus with his face on it. Jewish people call this the Abomination of Desolation. God used a man, Judas Maccabeus, to rally the Jewish people to fight and finally overcome Antiochus and cleanse the Temple. This cleansing of the temple is what the Jewish people celebrate at Hanukah.
We know that there has to be something else because Jesus, 200 years later than Antiochus, said that the Abomination of Desolation was still future from the time He walked among us. Paul the apostle referred to the man of lawlessness sitting in the temple and proclaiming himself as god (2 Thessalonians 2:4). Paul, being a learned man, would have been very familiar with what happened more than 200 years before, but yet wrote about a desecration of the temple still to take place.
Scholars call these two temple desecrations an example of a law of double fulfillment, a partial or shadow fulfillment in the past that speaks of a complete fulfillment yet future. For instance, the Passover Lamb deliverance from Egypt and the crucifixion of Christ were a double fulfillment. The Antichrist will completely fulfill Antiochus' desecration of the Temple.
Daniel’s Week of Years
The critical two things for us to take from Daniel's prophecy in chapter nine, verse twenty-seven, is that there will be a seven-year period that starts with a peace treaty. This peace treaty could be new, or one already agreed upon, such as the Oslo Accords. The Accords were officially signed at a public ceremony in Washington, DC, on 13 September 1993, in the presence of PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and US President Bill Clinton. Suppose the Oslo accords or maybe even the Abraham Accords that President Trump brought about are the peace treaty that the Antichrist will confirm. In that case, we are told of a period of a seven-year (Daniel 9:27) covenant or agreement. In the middle of those seven years will be the Abomination of Desolation. This seven-year period starts at the confirming of a covenant spoken of by the prophet Daniel (Daniel 9:27).
Jesus and Paul talked about this same time when halfway into the seven-year period, when the Antichrist will desecrate the temple, Jesus said there would be great tribulation (Matthew 24:15, the King James Version uses the word tribulation, whereas the New International Version translates this phrase as great distress). This period will be a difficult time for the people of God. We must realize that the seven years is not once referred to as the tribulation in Scripture; that is an assumption by prophecy writers. Only the last three and a half years are spoken of as the tribulation, with some verses calling it the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21, Revelation 7:14). Jesus warned us that when we see the Abomination of Desolation, then would be great tribulation. We will look at this further when we discuss what will happen at that time. Jesus Himself called the signs of the times before the midpoint of the seven-year agreement or covenant “the beginning of birth pains” (Matthew 24:8). As in a woman in childbirth, we will see the labor pains on earth increase in intensity the closer we get to the end of the age and the coming of Christ.
What Will the Antichrist Do?
We will know this man as the Antichrist when he confirms a peace treaty or covenant in the Middle East. I believe he will give something to the Jewish people they want and something to the Palestinian people they also long for. The Jewish people desire, more than anything, a temple to God to be rebuilt on the Holy Mountain at the center of Jerusalem. The Palestinians want their own state on what is known as the West Bank of the Jordan River and for their capital to be East Jerusalem.
Somehow Antichrist will bring the two sides together and forge a peace treaty or covenant (A covenant is a legally binding agreement between certain parties) between them. The first three and a half years of this treaty will see the temple rebuilt, among other things happening worldwide. Three and a half years into this period of seven years, Daniel prophesies that the Antichrist will stop the sacrifices, break the treaty and set up an image of himself in the Holy Place, desiring that all worship him (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15). This peace treaty and subsequent breaking of the covenant will be one of the ways we will recognize him. Have you noticed how several American presidents have tried to bring about a peace treaty between the two parties concerned? It may yet be a European president that will achieve a peace treaty, but so far, it has only been American presidents Carter, Clinton, and Trump that have succeeded, but only then is it just a limited peace treaty. It has never been between all parties in the Middle East. Syria never signed on to the peace treaty because they wanted the Golan Heights back from Israel before they even started negotiations. Perhaps this is one reason that Syria is going through strife at the moment. Some forces want to topple the Assad regime and replace it with another that will go along with the plans of the global power elite.
Scripture calls this world leader over a ten-power bloc confederacy by a few different names. Only the apostle John calls him the Antichrist in his letters or epistles just before the Book of Revelation (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; and 2 John 7). The word suggests that he is one opposed to God, but the prefix anti can also mean “instead of.” When God gave the apostle John the Book of Revelation, the Antichrist is called the Beast (Revelation 13:1). Paul, the apostle, calls him by two different names, “the man of lawlessness" (2 Thessalonians 2:3) and "the lawless one" (2 Thessalonians 2:8, 9). Most Bible scholars believe he will oppose Christ but at the same time pass himself off as Christ. When the disciples asked Jesus as to the sign of His coming, He responded by saying, “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:4-5). As we get closer to the end-time, we will see some people claim that they are the anointed one of God (The word Christ or Messiah means "the anointed one").
John Phillips, in his book Exploring the Future, says this of the Antichrist:
The Antichrist will be an attractive and charismatic figure, a genius, a demon-controlled, devil-taught charmer of men. He will have answers to the horrendous problems of mankind. He will be all things to all men: a political statesman, a social lion, a financial wizard, an intellectual giant, a religious deceiver, a masterful orator, a gifted organizer. He will be Satan's masterpiece of deception, the world's false messiah. With boundless enthusiasm, the masses will follow him and readily enthrone him in their hearts as this world’s savior and god.
As we mentioned in the previous study, Daniel calls this man the "little horn" that arises among ten other “horns" or kings (Daniel 7:7-8), an indication that others will create the structure of a ten-region confederacy before the Antichrist arises, and that he will complete the structure into a one-world government. With his gift of statesmanship and oratory, he will draw most people that are not believers to himself. The angel that gave the Book of Revelation to John says that the Beast (the Antichrist) will arise out of the sea (Revelation 13:1). Often when Scripture speaks of the sea, it is a figure of speech indicating tumultuous times or difficult times (Luke 21:25). It was Rahm Emanuel, the former Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama, who said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” It is possible that the next severe crisis, whatever it is, will be engineered to bring the world together under the banner of a world government with a world currency. We know from Scripture that there will be a situation in the end-time where the world will ultimately do away with cash; in its place, we will go to a money system that needs a mark on our forehead or right hand.
Question 2) What do you think could happen to bring in a cashless society such as the Bible mentions?
Now, you can go anywhere in the world with cash in American dollars and buy anything. The world’s reserve currency is the American dollar, but what would happen if confidence in the dollar collapses? The world has already become slaves to the European Banks. If you don’t believe that, click on this link below, recorded in 2012 from CNBC, the financial market channel. It’s four minutes long, and if Microsoft Word won’t acknowledge the link, copy and paste the address into YouTube and hit enter:
4 sec: "Do we all work for Central Bankers? Is this Global Governance at last? Is it One world…with the Central Bankers in charge?"
1 min: "To answer your question: We are absolutely slaves to Central Banks."
1 min 16sec: "Markets are driven by policy now, they're not driven by market forces."
1 min 26 sec: "Fiat currency that’s continually watered down…so the markets go up, and we feel good about it."
2min 25 sec: "We are basically beholden to Central Bankers."
2min 30sec: "...admits (Federal Reserve) are debasing the currency and borrowing our way to false prosperity."
2min 48sec: "Every Central Bank in the world has to devalue their currency."
Amschel Rothschild, the famous financier, once said, “Give me control of a nation’s money supply, and I care not who makes its laws."
Sir Josiah Charles Stamp was a British Baron born in the late 1800s. He was an economist and President of the Bank of England in the early 1900s and was the 2nd richest man in England at that time. He is quoted as saying:
Banking was conceived in iniquity and born in sin. Bankers own the Earth. Take it away from them but leave them the power to create money, and, with the flick of a pen, they will create enough money to buy it back again. Take this great power away from them, and all great fortunes like mine will disappear, and they ought to disappear, for then this would be a better and happier world to live in. But, if you want to continue to be the slave of the bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let the bankers continue to create money and control credit.
Louis McFadden, Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, on May 23, 1933, stated: "Every effort has been made by the Federal Reserve Board to conceal its powers, but the truth is that the Federal Reserve System has usurped the government. It controls everything here, and it controls all our foreign relations. It makes and breaks governments at will."
President Woodrow Wilson, who signed away America's right to print its own money in 1913 to private banking concerns in Europe, wrote in his diary afterward, "I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the world… no longer a government of free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men." - Woodrow Wilson.
What about David Rockefeller, in his book, Memoirs, 2002 -"For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure - one world if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it." David Rockefeller, Memoirs, 2002, Page 406.
We are already being set up for a cashless society. I read in Time Magazine, dated February 21, 2011, Page 58, that a new chip is embedded in smartphones, which allows US consumers to leave their wallets at home. Doug Aamoth writes:
Which are you more likely to have with you at any given moment—your cell phone or your wallet? Soon you may be able to ditch your billfold altogether and pay for things with a quick wave of your smartphone over an electronic scanner.
Starbucks already has customers using a bar-code app on their phones to buy coffee in some 6,800 stores. This was the first significant pay-by-phone initiative in the U.S., but we're now seeing multiple wireless payment options as something called Near Field Communications (NFC) gets embedded into America’s consumer electronics. All smartphones in stores now have a virtual wallet and payment system, enabling a shopper to transfer money with just a tap of their phone to the store. In Asia and Europe, NFC allows shoppers to wave their phones a few inches above a payment terminal—a contact-free system built for speed and simplicity.” When this becomes commonplace, how big of a leap would it be to place this technology on our person?
The global elite is preparing to replace cash with digital money before they crash the dollar. All kinds of scenarios could bring about a monetary crisis, so it is difficult to pinpoint one particular thing that will bring about the little horn, Antichrist, to be revealed among ten others. But it could very likely be a crisis with the dollar. David Rockefeller, the financier, in a speech in 1994 to the United Nations, said, “All we need is the right major crisis, and the nations will accept the New World Order.” The world's nations have just about all become indebted to the banks, including the United States. Did you know that the United States does not own the Federal Reserve? The Federal government borrows money, at interest, from the Federal Reserve, a private banking consortium given the power to oversee the nation's money supply in 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson. The Federal Reserve is as much federal as Federal Express. A financial crisis can be brought about by restricting or contracting the money supply. Any time the bankers want, they can call your debt. The Bible says that the debtor is a slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7). I would advise those of you who are believers in Christ to get out of debt as soon as possible.
His Number will be 666
This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666 (Revelation 13:18)
I take this passage as a hint from the Lord as to the identity of the Antichrist. When he comes to the surface politically, we will know him by the number of his name. In the Hebrew and Greek languages, the letters of the alphabet have numbers. When a name is spelled out, each letter has a different number. When calculated together, the Antichrist's name will work out to be 666. Bible teacher and writer, David Jeremiah, has some interesting thoughts on the number 666:
Revelation 13:18, however, does give us a clue to the number's meaning when it tells us that 666 is "the number of a man." To realize the implication of that, let's first consider another number—the number seven. Seven is regarded as the number of completeness. The Bible often uses the number seven in reference to God or God-related things. God rested on the seventh day. The temple candlestick held seven candles. Christ addressed seven churches in Revelation. Revelation speaks of seven spirits before God's throne, seven golden candlesticks, seven seals, seven thunders, seven angels, seven trumpets, and seven vials. The number six, on the other hand, being one short of seven, is a number of incompleteness. Man, being in the image of God but not God is associated with the number six. Man was created on the sixth day. He is urged to work six of seven days. Even the largest man described in the Bible, the giant Goliath, was not a seven; he was just a combination of sixes. He measured six cubits in height, carried a spearhead weighing six shekels, and wore six pieces of armor. No matter how big a man is, or thinks he is, he is still not God; he is merely a man. The number 666 designates man to the triple. Here is the best man can be without God—the ultimate in human ingenuity and competence elevated to the point where he thinks he is a god. But he is not God. He is still incomplete, imperfect. No matter how high the pedestal, the best he can be is a string of sixes; he is not and can never be a seven. Can you see how that number characterizes the Antichrist?
Some think that our ID number or social security number will change to be three groups of six digits when we enter a world currency based on digital money. At first, it will be on our phones. Perhaps the signature for whatever we buy with our phones will be the chip they want to place within us. It is evident, though, that there will be believers in Christ who will gain victory over the beast and his image and the number of his name:
2And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name. They held harps given them by God 3and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb (Revelation 15:2-3).
Question 3) Who is this company of people? What are they victorious over? How is their song similar to the song of Moses? (Exodus 15:1-18).
Some believers will go through this time, for Scripture says, “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus (Revelation 14:12). The Antichrist’s attitude and character will change in the middle of the seven years, Daniel’s 70th week. Perhaps Satan will indwell him and take more of his personality. After his great masterful act of statesmanship and diplomacy by bringing about the peace treaty in Jerusalem, he will be moved by Satan to fulfill his master’s desire to sit in the temple of God and command the Jews to worship him. At that point, all those faithful to the God of Abraham, Jews, and Gentiles will refuse. It is then that great persecution (tribulation) will occur worldwide, such as not seen before or will be again.
One question I have reserved for another session is the question about the Rapture. What does the Bible say about the hope of the Christian, the Rapture of the Saints? Please continue to stay with us as we explore together this important topic. All of what God has told us about the future ahead of time seems scary as we read about it, but there is much to be thankful for, for the Bible says that “God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation (deliverance) through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Encourage yourself with His words. If you are a Christian, you have nothing to fear; in fact, as you see these things beginning to take place, you should lift up your heads for your redemption is drawing near (Luke 21:28).
Have you ever placed your life in Christ’s hands? God loves you and longs for you to invite Him into your life. Why don’t you do it tonight? Why wait any longer?
Prayer: Father, I come to you now in the name of Jesus. Come into my life. I want to turn from my sin and have You sit on the throne of my life. Forgive my sin (Specific sins that weigh heavy on you should be confessed and forsaken) and fill me with your Spirit. I want to know you and experience your power in my life. Amen!
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