The Antichrist. A few years ago, several newspapers
featured a story about a man who claimed to be the Messiah. He declared
that he had gone through a long series of reincarnations, and that this
time around he was going to fulfill this crucial role. His spokesman
said that he was waiting for just the right moment to go public. He's
We certainly don't know when or even if this
self-proclaimed messiah will reveal himself. But we who know what the
Bible teaches are sure of one thing: He is not the real Messiah! He is
an impostor! Jesus spoke of such people when He warned:
Take heed that no one deceive you.
For many will come in my name, saying, "I am the Christ," and will
deceive many. ... Then if anyone says to you, "look, here is Christ!"
or "There!" do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets
will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible,
even the elect. (Mt. 24: 4-5, 23-24)
Most non-Christians are not ready to talk about an
"antichrist," but many people recognize the possibility that we may
soon need a world government with a strong man at the head. Some
foresee the time when the whole Western world will be under a single
monetary system. They point out that nations are becoming increasingly
dependent on one another.
They also express the fear that small
countries may build nuclear weapons if they can get the necessary
materials. The well-known economist/ theologian Jacques Ellul for
example, has insisted that we are rapidly approaching the time when all
purchases of raw materials will be cleared through a central computer.
He sees this as necessary to prevent' irresponsible people from
producing the kinds of weapons that would give them awesome and
The Bible tells us that the time
is coming when the Western world will be united under an incredibly
intelligent, tremendously dynamic, awesomely powerful, but
frighteningly evil man.
Whether we like it or not, we are headed toward
increasing internationalism. Whether we like it or not, we may someday
find ourselves unable to purchase certain products without having our
transaction go through a giant international computer. Whether we like
it or not, we may see nations banding together under one powerful
leader because of their conviction that this is an absolute necessity
for human survival.
All this doesn't surprise Christians who are acquainted
with the prophetic Scriptures. The Bible tells us that the time is
coming when the Western world will be united under an incredibly
intelligent, tremendously dynamic, awesomely powerful but frighteningly
What Are People Saying?
Many churchgoers are intrigued by the biblical teaching
about Antichrist. When we asked a number of people if they had any
ideas about Antichrist. we received a wide variety of responses. Here
are a few of their ideas about what they expect Antichrist to be:
A Winsome Religious
Leader. "Antichrist will probably start out as a religious
TV personality. He will have a great deal of charisma and will rise to
power on the strength of right-wing politics and fundamental
Christianity. After he achieves his position, he will show his true
colors and reveal his hatred of Christ and everything He stands for."
Someone like Jesus.
"Antichrist will probably be a young Jew about 30 years of age when he
begins his rise to power. He will proclaim a new religion and perform
miracles like Jesus did. But unlike Jesus, he will reach for political
power and achieve it."
A New-Age Advocate.
"Antichrist will hold to a religion that teaches reincarnation, astral
projection, communication with the dead, and a kind of pantheism that
says we are all gods."
"According to the Bible, he won't have any desire for women. So he will
probably be a homosexual. The current strong emphasis on 'gay rights'
is preparing the way for him."
"Antichrist will not be an individual, but will be a prevailing
philosophy that emphasizes human freedom in moral matters and calls for
toleration toward all kinds of religious ideas except true
What Does The Bible Say?
Antichrists have been present for more than 1,900 years.
The apostle John declared that "even now many antichrists have come" (1
Jn. 2: 18). He also warned against "the spirit of the Antichrist. Which
... is now already in the world" (1 Jn. 4:3).
Antichrists may be false christs, men like those Jesus
warned about when He said that they would come in His name, saying, "I
am the Christ" (Mt. 24:5). Antichrists can also be open enemies, people
who hate the gospel and refer to Jesus Christ as "a misguided zealot,"
"an unsuccessful revolutionary," or "a monumental fraud."
A Bible study that focuses on this subject is not just
speculation about the future. It can be very practical, telling us how
to face the antichrists and the spirit of Antichrist that is in the
Revelation 13: 18 assigns the number 666 to Antichrist.
so we have organized our study around three sixes: (1) 6 things we know
about him; (2) 6 things we don't know; and (3) 6 things we should do.
The Number 666.
A time is coming when no one will be able to buy or sell
unless he wears some kind of mark that includes 666 (Rev. 13: 17-18).
The number 666 shows up from time to time on social
security checks, credit cards, and computer printouts. Every time it
does, it excites some people. They see it as a sign that we are at the
point of Christ's return. Rumors have even been spread that a huge
computer in Brussels is being fed information on every living person,
and that each of us will be given a number that will include the digits
666. This has resulted in an avalanche of protest letters to government
and industry leaders.
"Let him who has understanding calculate the number of
the beast" (Rev. 13: 18). This admonition has been an excuse for many
word games. Using the numerical equivalents of Hebrew, Latin, and Greek
letters, people have made the proper names of certain infamous
individuals add up to 666. For example, in Hebrew the letter K equals
100 and S equals 60.
Employing all three languages if necessary, theorists
have suggested the names Nero, Caligula, Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm,
Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, and others. Some of the early church fathers
believed that the apostle John was making a veiled reference to Nero to
help the church avoid needless persecution. The church fathers said
that Nero would be resurrected to become the future Antichrist. But few
scholars today believe that John had a proper name in mind.
Dr. John Walvoord writes: "Probably the simplest
explanation here is the best. ... Six in the Scripture is man's number.
He was to work 6 days and rest the seventh. The image of Nebuchadnezzar
was 60 cubits high and 6 cubits broad. Whatever may be the deeper
meaning of the number, it implies that this title referring to the
first beast, Satan's masterpiece, limits him to man's level, which is
far short of the deity of Jesus Christ" (The Revelation of Jesus
Christ, Moody Press, 1966, p.210).
Dr. Leon Morris suggests: "It is possible that ... we
should understand the expression purely in the terms of the symbolism
of numbers. If we take the sum of the values represented by the letters
in the name Iesous, the Greek name Jesus, it comes to 888. Each digit
is one more than seven, the perfect number.
But 666 yields the opposite phenomenon, for each digit
falls short. The number may be meant to indicate not an individual, but
a persistent falling short. All the more is this likely to be correct
if we translated 'it is the number of man' rather than 'a man.'
John will then be saying that unregenerate man is
persistently evil. He bears the mark of the beast in all that he does.
Civilization without Christ is necessarily under the dominion of the
evil one" (Revelation of St. John, Eerdmans, first edition 1969,
We can't be sure about the exact meaning of the number.
But we can be reasonably certain that it has something to do with the
devil and his two cohorts, the Beast and the False Prophet. All three
members of this "infernal trinity" come short of the perfection of God.
They are finite and limited. This satanic trinity is a cheap imitation.
Antichrist may be living today! But he probably won't
come forward openly as a Christ-hating world dictator until after Jesus
has caught up Christians from the earth to be with Him in heaven. This
event, described in 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18 and usually called the
rapture, could occur at any moment.
Suddenly, without an advance announcement, Christians
will hear a trumpet blast heralding Christ's coming for His own. At
that instant, believers who have died will be clothed with their new
bodies, and living saints will be transformed. Then both will be caught
up', removed from the earth.
This dramatic event will probably cause a great deal of
chaos and lead many to believe in Jesus Christ. But it will also make
multitudes ready to give their unconditional allegiance to a dynamic
earthly leader. Paul connected the rapture to the Antichrist, saying
that it will remove the one hindrance to the full outbreak of evil and
open the door for Antichrist's manifestation to the world. To
Christians concerned that they had already entered the great
tribulation, he wrote:
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will
not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is
revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above
all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in
the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
Do you not remember that when I was still with you I
told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he
may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is
already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken
out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed (2 Th.
Notice the words, "he who now restrains will do so until
he is taken out of the way." Most efforts to identify this restrainer
have been unsatisfactory. One Bible commentator admitted, "The
Christians in Thessalonica knew, but we don't."
The passage makes good sense, however, if we view the
restrainer as the Holy Spirit working through the church. Through
believers, the "salt of the earth," He has been restraining the
"mystery of iniquity." As soon as the church is removed in the rapture,
the way will be open for Antichrist to come to power.
Antichrist's coming could be close at hand because the
rapture is an any-moment possibility. Jesus said that the church of
every generation should be living in continual expectancy because "the
Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect" (Mt. 24:44).
What we don't know: THE EXACT DATE
While we know that the Antichrist will be revealed
shortly but we
have no way of giving these end time events a date.
What we should do: BE READY
Being ready for the rapture is the best way we can
oppose and overcome present-day antichrists and the spirit of
Antichrist. Jesus issued the exhortation, "Therefore you also be ready,
for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect" (Luke.
The apostle John wrote, "Beloved, now we are children of
God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know
that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as
He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as
He is pure" (1 In. 3:2-3).
A person who wants to be ready for the Lord's return
will try to live a pure life. He won't want to do anything he would be
ashamed of if Christ were to return. He wouldn't want to be thinking
the kind of thoughts he would be ashamed of if he were to be raptured
while thinking them.
When we live in continual readiness for the rapture, we
will automatically recognize impostors and the enemies of Jesus Christ.
That's the promise of 1 John 2: 18-3:3. A believer who is living a pure
life and keeping in touch with God through prayer and regular study of
the Bible possesses an anointing from the Holy Spirit that will keep
him from being deceived by antichrists or captured by the spirit of
What we know: HIS CHARACTER
The man called Antichrist in the Bible will at first
appear to be a friend of Israel and the world's savior. Eventually,
however, he will openly reveal his deep hatred for Christ and His
people. This hostility will be his most pronounced trait. In the matter
of character, he will be deceitful blasphemous, satanic, hateful and
cruel immoral and idolatrous.
A Dynamic Deceiver.
Antichrist will seem
to be a man of peace when he first appears. In Revelation
6:2 he is portrayed as riding on a white horse, wearing a crown,
holding a bow without arrows, and achieving great success. He will be
hailed as a great emancipator (Rev. 13:3-4). He will be so clever that
the nation of Israel will be deceived by him. Jesus warned, "I have
come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes
in his own name, him you will receive" (jn. 5:43).
An Arrogant Blasphemer.
As soon as Antichrist dares to show his true colors, he
will become an open, bold blasphemer. We read, "Then the king shall do
according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above
every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods .... He
shall regard neither the God (or gods) of his fathers ... nor regard
any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all" (Dan. 1 1:36-37).
Paul described him as "the
son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all
that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God (or 'a
god') in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" (2 Th.
2:.3-4). He could come to us as "the son of prophesy".
The apostle John said that he will have "a blasphemous name" (Rev. 13: 1)
and that he will open "his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme
His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven" (13:6).
Something about his name will stick out.
A Diabolical Satanist.
This coming Antichrist will be empowered by Satan and
will make him an object of worship. Paul declared that Antichrist's
coming will be "according to the working of Satan, with ... lying
wonders" (2 Th. 2:9).
The coming of the lawless one is according to the
working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with
all unrighteous deception. "(2 Th. 2:9-10)
Satan will perform a miracle on this coming Antichrist
that will have a tremendous impact on mankind. John said that he 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. So
they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they
worshiped the beast" (Rev. 13:3-4). The beast will come back to life
after being declared dead.
A little later, the second beast (Rev. 13: I 1-18) will
call fire down from heaven and animate an image of the first beast.
These miracles will serve a diabolical purpose. They will deceive
people into rejecting God and worshiping Satan and Antichrist the way
we worship the Father and Jesus.
Unspeakably Hateful And Cruel.
This future world ruler will reveal his hatred and
cruelty in the way he makes war with believers (Rev. 13:7,10). The
extent of his hatred and. cruelty is indicated by the fact that the
great multitude "which no one could number" is identified as martyrs
who came out of "the great tribulation" (Rev. 7:9,14).The number
executed under his persecution will probably exceed the combined totals
killed by the Nazis and the communists during the 20th century. And all
of this savagery will be rooted in his hatred for Christ!
Antichrist will reject all the moral standards held by
religious people down through the ages. His title is literally "man of
lawlessness" (2 Th. 2:3 NIV). His disdain for all the religions of
history is indicated in the words, "He will show no regard for the gods
of his fathers" (Dan. 11:37 NIV). He will reject everything good in
every historical religious system. He will show his hatred for Christ
by rebelling against all moral standards.
Another indication of this man's immorality may be
implied in the statement that he will have no regard for "the desire of
women" (Dan. I I:37). He will have no desire to make "public"
appearances in the company of women. In ancient days this expression
might have referred to the god Tammus or Adonis, two names for a god
who held special appeal to women. But since it is unlikely that mankind
will go back to worshiping the pantheon of Babylonian and Greek gods,
these words probably mean that he will express his disdain for "the
desire of women". He may openly advocate or tolerate homosexuality.
This would certainly be an obvious way of showing his enmity toward
Although Antichrist will contemptuously mock all the
religions of history and boldly declare himself to be God, he will
privately bring costly gifts in honor of "a god of fortresses" and will
carry out his military campaigns with "a foreign god" (Dan. 11:38-39).
This may mean that he will be so power-obsessed that he will lavish
wealth on his war machine in a manner reminiscent of the way pagans
honored their gods. Some scholars go a step further and say that he
will border on insanity by actually worshiping his own war machine. In
either case, power will be his idol.
In summary, Antichrist's primary characteristic will be
his antagonism toward Jesus Christ. He will be hateful, cruel, lawless,
and idolatrous. But he will cleverly mask his true self until it suits
his purposes to be open in his hostility toward Christ.
WHAT WE DON'T KNOW: HIS IDENTITY
Although we know what kind of man the Antichrist will
be, there is no way of knowing who he is prior to his coming to power.
If he is in the world today, his identity cannot be determined. All
efforts to identify him through the numerical equivalents of the number
666 are futile.
WHAT WE SHOULD DO: BE DISCERNING
Knowing what kind of man Antichrist will be can help us
to be discerning about the religious phenomena of our day. We will be
able to identify current "antichrists" and "the spirit of the
Antichrist" (1 In. 2: 18; 4:3). A public figure who denies Christ's
deity, His substitutionary atonement, or His bodily resurrection
represents the spirit of Antichrist. People who claim that they have a
messianic role are antichrists, even though they may say many positive
things about the Lord Jesus Christ of history. Furthermore, people who
mock absolute moral standards represent the spirit of the one the Bible
refers to as "the man of lawlessness."
In summary, we cannot identify Antichrist, but we can
certainly detect antichrists and the spirit of Antichrist whenever we
WHAT WE KNOW: HIS STRATEGY
Antichrist will gain his position through deception. He will play the role of a wise leader as he
climbs his way to the top of the political ladder. He will
portray himself as a man of peace and a friend of Israel but turn out
to be neither.
A Man Of Peace.
The fact that he will appear as a man of peace is
indicated in Revelation 6, where he is portrayed as riding on a white
horse, carrying a bow without arrows, wearing a victor's crown, and
achieving one success after another (vv.I-2). This is a picture of
peaceful conquest, likely through international alliances. Multitudes
will see him as their redeemer and look on Satan as their god.
Revelation 13:4 reads, "So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority
to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, 'Who is like the
beast? Who is able to make war with him?'"
This peace image will soon be shattered, however. The
white horse is followed by a red one, a symbol of revolution and
bloodshed (Rev. 6:3-4).
A Friend Of Israel.
Antichrist will make a treaty with Israel that will
apparently give her people a sense of security. But at the midpoint of
this 7-year treaty he will suddenly turn against the Israelites. He
will halt their sacrifices and begin to desolate Jerusalem (see Dan.
9:27; Mt. 24:15-22).
WHAT WE DON'T KNOW: HIS NATION OR
Although we know what his strategy will be, we cannot
know his national origin nor his racial identity. Efforts have been
made to find a biblical basis for making him Jewish, Syrian, or a
descendant of Ham, but all such speculation is futile. He can be from anywhere, including United
WHAT WE SHOULD DO: BE CAUTIOUS
Since Antichrist's strategy will be deception, we should
be very cautious about whom we follow. Not everyone who claims to be a
man of peace can be trusted. A
person may pose as a friend of Israel in public statements and yet be
thinking of ways to destroy her.
The world is full of deceivers today. A few years ago a
religious man, who at times referred to himself as a pacifist, received
high honors as a man of peace-even though he had encouraged some people
in his country to take violent action against the government.
Religious people may make eloquent appeals to the
Western nations about a reduction of weapons, while at the same time
they're espousing the cause of communism.
Many religionists lend their support to civil rights
activists in the name of freedom, but they will fight against
right-to-life laws, anti-porn legislation, or mandatory testing to
prevent drug abuse or the spread of AIDS.
Interestingly, while they cry out for the rights of
those who promote lawlessness, they seek to outlaw Christian schools
and do all they can to limit the freedom of evangelicals to preach the
gospel. They talk about belief in God but promote principles that give
liberty to sin. They are deceptive antichrists.
It follows that we should be cautious and not support
any religious or political organization until we know what it teaches
and whom it represents.
WHAT WE KNOW: HIS COHORTS
The Scriptures portray Antichrist. the beast of
Revelation 13: 1-10, in close association with the dragon of Revelation
12, the "beast coming up out of the earth" (Rev. 13: I 1-18), and "the
great harlot who sits on many waters" (Rev. 17: 1).
Antichrist will receive his position of worldwide
authority through the dragon, who is Satan (Rev. 12:9). The devil will give Antichrist "his power,
his throne, and great authority" (Rev. 13:2). Through
Antichrist, he will receive worship (Rev. 13:4), just as the Father
receives worship through the Son (In. 5: 19-27).
The devil will perform a tremendous miracle by bringing
Antichrist back to life from apparent death. We read, "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" (Rev. 13:3).
The Antichrist is the seventh head of the beast in
Revelation 13, and both the seventh and eighth king in Revelation 17:
11. Furthermore, he is pictured as coming up out of the abyss (Rev.
11:7; 17:8). It is possible that he will be killed while seeking his
position as world leader, be resurrected by Satan, and become the
source of wonder to mankind.
, , 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. " (Rev. 13:3)
The False Prophet.
The second accomplice of Antichrist will be the beast
portrayed in Revelation 13: 11-18. He is called "the false prophet"
(Rev. 16:13; 19:20; 20:10). Just as the Holy Spirit glorifies Christ,
the false prophet will honor Antichrist. He will perform miracles and
signs. His climactic miracle will be that of giving life to an image of
Antichrist. This will induce many to worship Antichrist. For those who
do not join in this adoration, the false prophet will bring death by
execution or slow starvation. He will take control so that no one will
be able to buy or sell without a mark indicating loyalty to Antichrist.
The third cohort of Antichrist will be the harlot of
Revelation 17. She is pictured as ridding on a scarlet beast with seven
heads and ten horns. The seven heads are declared to be seven mountains
(v.9), probably the city of Rome. The seven heads are also seven kings
or kingdoms (v. 10). The five fallen ones are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon,
Persia, and Greece.
The sixth is the Roman Empire of New Testament days. The
seventh will be the future restored empire under Antichrist. The eighth
may be his kingdom after he is killed and resurrected by the devil. The
ten horns will be a federation of Western nations organized by
Antichrist during the time of his rise to power.
The harlot of Revelation 17 will be a religious system
that probably will have its headquarters in Rome, the city of seven
hills. She is identified as "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Rev. I 7:5).
This title is significant. It was in ancient Babylon
that the fertility cult religious system was developed. It spread to
Egypt, Assyria, Persia, Greece, and Rome. In all of these cultures, it
promoted the same set of gods and goddesses under different names.
It always had room for more gods. It was popular because
it sanctioned and promoted immorality, tolerated a wide variety of
beliefs, and produced seemingly supernatural experiences.
The harlot of the end times will bring together into one
system a merger of occultism, eastern mysticism, pantheism,
reincarnation, nature worship, and the like. It probably will tolerate
everything except biblical Christianity.
The heads of this ecumenical religion will work closely
with Antichrist as he rises to power. But they will not fare very well
after Antichrist achieves world power. They will be destroyed by the
very ones they helped (Rev. 17: 16).
In summary, the dragon (Satan), the beast (Antichrist)
and the false prophet will be an unholy trinity. They will imitate the
relationship that exists between the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Spirit. They will accept the cooperation and help of an ecumenical
religious system in exchange for favors. But once they achieve absolute
power they will destroy the false church so that they will have
complete freedom to establish their own anti-god regime.
WHAT WE DON'T KNOW: THEIR NAMES
We know the name of the first cohort of Antichrist. He
is Satan. But we cannot attach a name to the false prophet. In this
respect we are under the same limitations that we are when we try to
identiify Antichrist. Furthermore, we cannot point to any religious
group and say that it will become the harrlot of Revelation 17.
WHAT WE SHOULD DO: BE LlGHT
While it is both foolish and futile to identify the
coming false prophet or harlot we can oppose them by being
light-bearers. Light in the Bible represents both truth and goodness.
Jesus said of believers, "You are the light of the world .... Let your
light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and
glorify your Father in heaven" (Mt. 5: 14,16). Paul wrote, "You were
once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of
light" (Eph. 5:8). By shining the light of truth and godliness, we
reflect the triune God, who is perfect in love and holiness.
God our Father is "the Holy One" (Isa. 1:4; 5: 19,24;
10:20; 12:6). The devil is "the evil one" (Mt. 6: 13). God cannot lie
(Num. 23: 19; Heb. 6: 18). Satan is "a liar and the father of it" (Jn.
Jesus Christ brought to mankind the fullness of grace
and truth (In. 1: 17). He loved His enemies so much that He laid down
His life in the terrible death of Calvary to pay the price for their
sins. He was so pure that no one could accuse Him of sin. Antichrist on
the other hand, will be the very antithesis of graciousness, truth, and
love. He will be "the man of lawlessness" cruel, deceitful, and
By walking as children of light, we can restrain the
forces of evil that represent the spirit of Antichrist. "
The Holy Spirit brings spiritual life (Eph. 2: 1-4) and
transformation (2 Cor. 3: 1-18). In those who yield to Him, He produces
the fruit of the Spirit: "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Gal. 5:22).
The false prophet will join with Satan and Antichrist in
bringing death to saints (Rev. 13: 1-18). He will also help his cohorts
to persuade a company of earthly leaders to engage in a military
campaign, which will bring about their own doom (Rev. 16:12-16).
We who belong to the true and living God represent Him
properly when we, through our lives, reflect the light that He is. Paul
speaks of this light as revealed in "goodness, righteousness, and
(Eph. 5:9). By walking as children of light, we can
restrain the forces of evil that represent the spirit of Antichrist. We
won't delay the end time appearance of Antichrist and the false prophet
or the harlot, but we can lead people out of the darkness of sin into
the light of the gospel.
WHAT WE KNOW: HIS DOMAIN
Antichrist will be the official ruler of the Western
world and exercise power over all mankind. He will rule over what may
be termed the "revived Roman Empire." The books of Daniel and
Revelation give us this information.
According To Daniel 2.
This chapter relates the story of a king's dream and a
prophet's explanation of it. About 600 BC, Nebuchadnezzar, king of the
Babylonian Empire, had a dream in which he saw a huge image. While he
was looking at it, he saw a rock-mysteriously cut out of a
mountain-roll down the slope, strike the statue on its feet of iron and
clay, and smash it to bits.
From what Daniel told the king, and from what history
tells us, we know that the head of gold represented Babylon, and that
the other sections of the image represented Medo-Persia, Greece, and
Rome, the iron part of the image, gradually deteriorated
and divided into two sections. Historically, the western part lasted
until AD 476, the eastern part until about 1450.
In the dream, however, the Roman Empire is suddenly
destroyed. Therefore, this prophecy cannot be literally fulfilled
unless the Roman Empire is in place again at the time when Christ
returns to the earth.
This raises some questions. Does this mean that the
restored Roman Empire will have the same boundaries that it had in the
past? Not necessarily. The geographical limits of empires change. Their
capital cities may even change, as happened in the British Empire when
London replaced Winchester as the capital during the 13th century.
The Roman Empire is equivalent to what we usually call
the Western world-those nations that have kept Corpus Juris Civilis
(the body of the Roman law) as the basis of their jurisprudence. We
usually think, of everything from the Middle east northward, all of
Western Europe, and everything in the Americas as the Western world.
According To Revelation 13.
The beast of Revelation 13 has ten horns and seven
heads. We have already noted that the seven heads represent a
succession of great empires. The ten horns, as indicated earlier,
represent ten nations that will make up Antichrist's empire. The lion,
bear, and leopard in Revelation 13, as in Daniel 7, represent the
Babylonian, Medo-Persian, and Greek empires. This vision suggests that
Antichrist's final empire will combine the strongest elements of all
these ancient kingdoms.
WHAT WE DON'T KNOW: THE ACTUAL
Some people are certain that the European Common Market
is a forerunner of Antichrist's kingdom. While it's possible, no one
can really know. The number in the Common Market changes from time to
time. Furthermore, the ten nations that will be confederates of
Antichrist will probably include some from the Middle East, North
Africa, and the Americas.
, , The dragon gave him his power,
his throne, and great authority…. And all the world marveled and
followed the beast."(Rev. 13:2-3)
We can't even be sure about the capital city of this
coming empire. It may be Rome, Babylon, or a brand-new city. Therefore, all speculation
about the exact boundaries of Antichrist's empire, the names of the
nations that will compose it, or the identity of the capital are quite
WHAT WE SHOULD DO: BE lNFORMED
An intelligent awareness of present-day trends toward
internationalization will help us fulfill our role as Christian
citizens. It will also heighten our anticipation of Christ's second
coming. Of course, not all internationalization is necessarily evil.
Free trade lifts the standard of living in many
countries. Regulation of materials used to produce nuclear power may
become an absolute necessity. But efforts to bring together all people
into a secular humanistic view of life by controlling education of
children must be opposed.
The fact that we are moving rapidly toward a united
world may be an indication that the time of Antichrist is near. With
present-day technology, a world ruler could quite easily control all
buying and selling. These facts should not alarm us, however. Rather,
they should heighten our anticipation of the Lord's return.
WHAT WE KNOW: HIS DEFEAT
Antichrist will rule for only a brief time. Then he will
be thoroughly defeated. After he breaks his pact with Israel, he will
have only 3 1/2 years left (Dan. 9:24-27). Daniel 11 :40-45 indicates
that before the 3 1/2 years have expired he will face rebellion-one by
the "king of the South" and the other by the "king of the North." He
will defeat them, sweep through the Middle East, wreak havoc with the
Jewish people, hear troubling news from the east and north, and become
involved in the battle that will bring about his total destruction.
Zechariah 14 gives us some additional facts of
Antichrist's waterloo. His forces will meet their doom while they are
pillaging Jerusalem. When the Lord returns to the Mount of Olives, the
topography of Israel will suddenly be changed. Frightful plagues will
strike the enemy. Godly Israelites will join the armies from heaven in
attacking their foes. And the Lord Jesus will bring order out of the
Revelation tells us that the Euphrates River will be
dried up so that "the way of the kings from the east might be prepared"
(16: 12). Unclean spirits sent by the "infernal trinity" will deceive
rulers of nations to gather their armies at the Valley of Megiddo to
fight a climactic battle against God (16: 13-16). Commercial Babylon
will be supernaturally destroyed (ch. 18). And Christ will come down as
Leader of the armies of heaven, destroy the enemies, and cast the beast
and false prophet into the lake of fire (19: 1 1-21 ).
While we cannot put everything in place, we can read
these prophecies with the confidence that God and His people will
WHAT WE DON'T KNOW: THE DETAILS
While Daniel, Zechariah, and Revelation show Antichrist
and his army being thoroughly defeated at Christ's return, they don't
put all the pieces together. We can't name the nations that make up the
southern and northern alliances in Daniel 11. We can't identify the
"kings from the east" (Rev. 16: 12). And we can't present a detailed
chronology of the War of Armageddon. Many of the details, like those
involved in Christ's first coming, will become clear as they are
WHAT WE SHOULD DO: BE CONFIDENT
While we cannot put everything in place, we can read
these prophecies with the confidence that God and His people will
triumph! Everything earthly is going to perish, but we who believe are
citizens of a world that will last forever. Let's be sure that we give
the right answer to Peter's probing question, "Therefore, since all
these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be
in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of
the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being
on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?" (2 Pet. 3:
Are You Ready?
Almost 2,000 years have elapsed since two angels told
the apostles that Jesus, who had just disappeared behind a cloud, would
return in the same way they had seen Him go. Two thousand years is a
long time! Generation after generation has looked for His second
coming. Unbelievers scoff, and many Christians tend to become
complacent. The few who do get excited about Bible prophecy often make
blunders that discredit them.
But the prophetic clock keeps ticking. And one of these
days, suddenly and unexpectedly, the sound of a heavenly trumpet and a
cry of triumph will pierce the air. Then the rapture, the resurrection,
and the judgment seat of Christ will occur. But for the unsaved, there
will be the revealing of Antichrist. the terrors of the great
tribulation, and the devastation of the War of Armageddon.
Are you ready? If you have received Jesus Christ as your
Savior, you have no reason to fear an eternal hell. But if you are
living a disobedient life, you will be ashamed and apprehensive when He
returns for you.
If you have never acknowledged your sin and placed your
trust in Jesus Christ, you will enter the darkest period in all of
history. And it's likely that you will become a follower of Antichrist.
Second Thessalonians 2: 12 tells us that people who heard the truth and
rejected it before the rapture of the church are likely to be deluded
and destroyed. Receive the Lamb of God as your personal Savior. And do it today
before it's too late!. Do not
take these endtimes for granted. The Antichrist could already be "on
the ground" bidding time to make his appearance.
Click here to read about the Signs of His Coming