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by Chris Eisbrenner
Today we live in a worldwide climate of financial insecurity. The United States debt continues to climb to unspeakable heights; European countries like Greece, Spain and Portugal are going bankrupt; and the global stock markets are in turmoil. This unstable global climate presents a perfect stage for someone to step up with big ideas and far reaching solutions. The scriptures teach that such a man will rise in the last days; the world will indeed embrace him; and he will play a major role in upcoming end time events. This man is commonly known as the Antichrist.
The Rise of Antichrist
The Antichrist will rise in the last days out of the fourth kingdom of Daniel chapters 2 and 7. The fourth kingdom began with Rome which split in A.D. 364 into an Eastern and Western balance of power that continues to this day. Daniel 7:23 tells us that the fourth kingdom will devour the whole earth and become a one world government that will split into ten divisions (Daniel 2:41-42). Since that prophecy has never come to fruition, we know that it is still future. We also know from Daniel 7:24 that it is from this one world government that the Antichrist will arise. Revelation 13:1 tells us this “beast” (another common name for Antichrist) comes up out of the sea (a symbol in Revelation of Gentile nations) with ten horns on his head. These are the same ten horns of the fourth beast of Daniel 7:7, both of which are further proof of Antichrist’s ascent from the ten division one world government. Daniel 9:26 reveals the nationality of the Antichrist when it tells us that “the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.” Since the people who destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D. were Romans (Gentiles) with a western capitol, it can be concluded that the Antichrist will most likely be Gentile and rise out of the West.
But when will the Antichrist be revealed to the world and how? First, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 tells us that it will be before the Day of the Lord which is a period of time in scripture that begins with the seven year Tribulation period. So we know the “man of sin” or “son of perdition” (more synonyms for Antichrist) must be revealed before the Tribulation period begins. Second, Daniel 9:24-27 clarifies the relationship of Antichrist to the start of the Tribulation. Specifically verse 27 shows that there is one event on the prophetic calendar that starts the final seven years of this age, and that is the Antichrist signing a seven-year treaty with Israel. This corresponds to the breaking of the first seal of Revelation 6, which is the beginning of the judgments of the Tribulation, out of which comes a rider on a white horse wearing a crown and riding out to conquer. His favorable appearance as a kingly rider on a white horse is part of Antichrist’s delusive front as a peace maker in the world. He will present masterful answers to the economic woes of the world and the tension in the Middle East between Israel and the Moslem nations that surround her. So the first event which will begin the Antichrist’s rise to power and quest for worldwide conquest is the signing of the treaty with Israel that will start the Tribulation and bring a false “peace and safety” to the world (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
The Wars of Antichrist
Daniel 8:23-25 reveals that a king will rise in the latter days of the Gentile kingdoms who will be fierce, wise, and supernaturally empowered by Satan. This will enable him to cunningly “by peace destroy many” (8:25) and prosper in his military plans. This king is a reference to the final king of the fourth empire, the Anti-Christ, and Daniel 11:36-38 adds that he will be prideful, blasphemous, godless, prosperous, and will develop a military machine (god of fortresses). In his zeal for political control, he will go up against the strongest armies and all those who honor him will be rewarded with ruling power and the giving of land (11:39).
Daniel 11:40 then tells us that the king of the south (Egypt and her African allies) and the king of the north (most likely a coalition lead by Syria) will storm against the Antichrist. Many believe this will be Egypt’s and Syria’s objection to his rising power and his treaty with Israel, and thus will test Antichrist’s power and resolve by attacking Israel in a joint invasion. This could be a reference to two of the three horns (kings) that rebel against the Antichrist, which is revealed in Daniel 7:8, all three of which he defeats. Antichrist’s response will be to come down from his headquarters in the west (most likely from Western Europe) and take out Syria first, then move through Israel (the Glorious Land) leaving Jordan and the Palestinians (Moab and Ammon) alone due to his intent on conquering Egypt, Libya, and Ethiopia (11:41-43), all of which will be part of the king of the south’s alliance, and be crushed by the Antichrist and his vast military machine.
At this time, news from the east and north will disturb the Antichrist (11:44) which will cause him to “plant the tabernacles of his palace” in the “glorious holy mountain” (Jerusalem) between the Mediterranean and Dead seas (11:45). Thus Jerusalem becomes his new capitol. Many believe that the disturbing news from the north and east is the coming Russian (north) and Iranian (east) invasion of Ezekiel 38-39. Since the scriptures do not say exactly what the news is, we can only speculate. Ezekiel 38:1-17 may fit since we are told that Magog (Russia) and its allies will send an army from the north, while Persia (Iran) and its allies will send an army from the east to attack Israel. If this is the timing of the Ezekiel 38-39 invasion then it appears that as the Antichrist rushes back with great wrath to destroy the invading army (Daniel 11:44), God Himself will divinely intervene and destroy the northeastern invasion on behalf of Israel (Ezekiel 38:18-39:8), but Antichrist would most likely take credit for this destruction. This destruction combined with the destruction of the southern alliance would allow him to settle in Jerusalem with unchallenged control of the Middle East.
The Death and Resurrection of Antichrist
Since the Antichrist is a counterfeit Christ, he will seek to imitate Jesus’ death and resurrection. His death appears to take place in conjunction with his war against the rebelling kings of Daniel 7:8 and 11:40-45, and Revelation 13:3 and 13:12 calls this a “fatal wound that was healed,” which is a reference to his death and seeming “resurrection”. This satanically inspired counterfeit “resurrection” combined with Antichrist’s killing of the two witnesses (Revelation 11:7) causes those who dwell on the earth to celebrate, marvel, and worship the beast (Revelation 11:10; 13:4,8). The scriptures also speak of the False Prophet, Antichrist’s religious leader, who erects an image of the beast, and using Satanic powers, brings the image to life so it speaks. The False Prophet causes all who do not worship the beast and his image to be killed. This “resurrection” event takes place at the middle of the Tribulation, and makes possible his “alterations in times and in law” (Daniel 7:25) and sets up his upcoming abomination of desolation in the temple (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15) and his demand for all to worship him (Revelation 13:8).
The Blasphemy of Antichrist
At the middle of the Tribulation the Antichrist will break his seven year treaty with Israel and commit the abomination of desolation, “…and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease…” (Daniel 9:27; 12:11). Sometime before, or during, the first half of the Tribulation, Israel will rebuild her Temple in Jerusalem and worship using sacrifices according to the Mosaic Law, which are the sacrifices the Antichrist causes to cease. Then according to 2 Thessalonians 2:4, the Antichrist “exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” Jesus warned this future generation of Jews in Matthew 24:15-16, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand) then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains,” because Jesus knew of the coming fury of Satan against the Jews in the last three and a half years of the Great Tribulation. This is all part of Antichrist’s exaltation of himself above every god, and his speaking monstrous things against the God of gods (Daniel 11:36), and the covenant people of God.
During the second half of the Tribulation, also known as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, Satan will use the Antichrist to once again try to annihilate the Jewish people from the earth. According to Revelation 12, Satan will wage all-out war on the woman (Israel) who gave birth to the male child (Jesus) and tread Jerusalem under foot for forty two months (3½ years) according to Revelation 11:2. Zechariah 13:8 reveals that Antichrist’s war against the Jews during the last half of the Tribulation will kill two-thirds of the Jewish people. God allows this to purge Israel of the dross (Ezekiel 22:18-22) of unbelief, and to bring them to their knees for repentance and national salvation (Zechariah 12:10; 13:9).
The Demise of Antichrist
When God’s purposes are served and the forty two months or “time of the indignation” (Daniel 8:19) comes to an end, then the reign of Antichrist will also come to an end. Revelation 16:12-16 speaks of the pouring out of the 6th bowl when Antichrist will gather the kings of the whole world to Armageddon (the mountain of Megiddo and valley of Jezreel) to assemble a massive army against the Almighty. Revelation 19:19 confirms that the beast will indeed gather the kings of the earth and their armies to make war against the Messiah. But the only battle that actually takes place comes from the righteous wrath of Jesus, for at that very moment Jesus will return in the clouds of heaven with his raptured saints behind, and Antichrist will be destroyed by the breath of His mouth (2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 19:15). Finally, the beast’s power and dominion will be taken away and no one will be able to deliver him (Daniel 7:11, 26; 11:45). It is by the hand of Jesus that the Antichrist will be cast into the Lake of Fire forever with the False Prophet (Revelation 19:20) to be joined later by the dragon himself, Satan, after the thousand year kingdom (Revelation 20:10). Together this unholy trinity will be under divine judgment and suffering forevermore.
The scriptures are clear that the Antichrist will rise up through the power of Satan to wage a conquering war against the world. Indeed this man and his False Prophet will seek to do what Satan through Haman in the book of Esther tried to do so many years ago. They will once again attempt genocide against Israel and the Jewish people. For Satan believes if he can destroy God’s covenant people, he will have defeated God, because God’s promises to Israel will be shown to be a lie. He also knows the national salvation of Israel at the second coming is necessary for the millennial kingdom to come to earth, and will be the thing that sends Satan to the abyss for 1000 years (Revelation 20:1-3). But, as in the days of Esther, God will not let such genocide come to fruition, for it is through God’s fulfilling of his covenant promises to Israel that he will receive his greatest glory. In that day, all creation will be healed, Israel will be restored, evil will be thwarted, and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:6-12). What a blessed day that will be!
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