Friday, November 21, 2008

Origins of the Antichrist: Career

In Origins of the Antichrist: Polled we looked at visitor responses to the poll question: "Where will the Antichrist arise from?" In seeking his origins we last looked at the Antichrist's character. Today we are going to delve into his maniacal career.

The Rapture Initiates

The Rapture of the Church is the event that will launch the career of the Antichrist. This is revealed in 2 Thessalonians 2 where Paul states that the Antichrist cannot be revealed until "he who now restrains" him is "taken out of the way" (verse 7). The restrainer of evil in the world today is obviously the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit performs that task by working through the Church.

It is the Church that will be "taken out of the way," not the Holy Spirit. We know this for certain because the book of Revelation teaches that a great multitude will be saved during the Tribulation (Revelation 7:9-14), and no one can be saved apart from the witness of the Spirit (John 6:44, John 15:26, and 1 John 5:7). The Spirit will remain in the world, but the agency the Spirit currently works through to restrain evil, the Church, will be removed.

The Rapture itself is likely to be the event that will catapult the Antichrist to power. This is because the Rapture will produce international chaos and panic. The Antichrist, energized by Satan (Daniel 8:24), will seem to have all the answers to the world's problems. He will take over the European Union through skillful intrigue (Daniel 8:23) and will establish his headquarters in Rome (Revelation 17:3,9,18).

The Tribulation Begins

The seven year time period of the Tribulation will actually begin when the Antichrist negotiates a treaty that will bring true peace to the Middle East, enabling the Jews to rebuild their Temple (Daniel 9:27). With his European base consolidated and peace achieved in the Middle East, he will set forth to subdue the whole world.

The War Consolidates

One of the myths about the Antichrist that has developed in modern day interpretation is that the whole world will become so enamored with him that all the nations will surrender their sovereignty to him voluntarily. The Bible does not teach this. It is also contrary to common sense. Africa and Asia and Latin America have not spent a century casting off European colonialism in order to suddenly turn around and receive a European dictator with open arms.

The world will resist him, and the result will be a Third World War in which he "will destroy to an extraordinary degree" (Daniel 8:24). This war will initially result in the death of one-fourth of humanity, or 1.5 billion people in today's terms (Revelation 6:2-8). As the Tribulation approaches its mid-point, this war will escalate into a nuclear holocaust that will result in the deaths of an additional one-third of those still alive — another 1.5 billion (Revelation 8 and 9).

It will be a empty victory because in the process of his conquest, one-third of the earth will be destroyed and half its population will be killed. He will then consolidate his "victory" by instituting a one-world economy and a one-world religion.

The Economy Controlled

The key to his economic control will be a mark that each person will have to bear on their right hand or on their forehead (Revelation 13:16-18). No one will be able to buy or sell unless they have this mark. The mark will consist of "either the name of the beast or the number of his name" (Revelation 13:18).

The Believers Persecuted

His religious control will be exercised by a false prophet who will head up his pagan religious system (Revelation 13: 11-15). He will force all of humanity to worship the Antichrist. He will be a deceiver who will astound people with "great signs" that appear miraculous in nature. In order to consolidate this Satanic religious system, the Antichrist will launch a great persecution of all those who have placed their faith in the true God since the Rapture of the Church (Revelation 12:13-17). The result will be a mass slaughter of believers (Revelation 7:9-14).

This means that by the mid-point of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will have killed more than half of humanity (1.5 billion in the seal judgments, 1.5 billion in the trumpet judgments, and an undetermined multitude of saints.) It is no wonder that he is referred to in Scripture as "the man of lawlessness" and "the son of destruction" (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

The Vessel Possessed

Nor will all this slaughter satisfy his blood thirst. About the time that the Antichrist has consolidated his world empire, Satan will be cast from Heaven and will come to earth in "great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time" (Revelation 12:12). At that point he will possess the Antichrist, even as he possessed Judas (Luke 22:3).

When the Antichrist becomes Satan incarnate, he will become a megalomaniacal tyrant obsessed with two things: himself and the Jewish people.


The Jews Slaughtered

He will suddenly march into the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, stop the sacrifices, blaspheme God, and declare himself to be the one and only true god (Daniel 9:27 and 2 Thessalonians 2:4). And when the Jews reject this horrible blasphemy, he will turn on them and seek to annihilate them. This will be his all-consuming passion during the second half of the Tribulation. That's why Jesus told the Jews that this period of time would be the "great tribulation" (Matthew 24:21) — not because it would be worse than the first half, but because the wrath would be focused upon them as a nation and a people.

Satan has an insane hatred for the Jews. He hates them because they gave the world the Scriptures. He hates them because God sent the Messiah through them. And he hates them because God has promised that He will bring a great remnant of them to salvation in their Messiah. He wants to destroy them so that God cannot keep that promise.

During the second half of the Tribulation, he will almost succeed in accomplishing this goal. We are told in Zechariah 13:8-9 that two-thirds of the Jewish people will die during this holocaust (another 9.3 million people).

The next post on origins will get to the heart of the topic.

5 comments:

tmrfiles said...

Maybe I missed something, but I could not find any scripture in all of God's Word that even remotely suggests the Holy Spirit is a restrainer or that is one of His functions. What I did find as the functions of the Holy Spirit are listed following:

relays to us God's Word 1 Thessalonians 1:5
baptizes us Matthew 3:11| Mark 1:8 | Luke 3:16 | John 1:33 | Acts 1:5 | Acts 10:38 | Acts 11:16
seals us Ephesians 1:13 | Ephesians 4:30 | Romans 15:16
comforts us John 14:26 | Acts 9:31
renews us Titus 3:5
shows God's love in our hearts Romans 5:5
brings us joy Romans 14:17 | 1 Thessalonians 1:6
brings us hope Romans 15:13
speak for/through us Mark 13:11 | Luke 12:12 | Acts 1:16 | Acts 21:11 | Acts 28:25 | 2 Peter 1:21 | Jude 1:20
in other languages Acts 2:4
speaks to us 2 Corinthians 13:14
reveals to us Luke 2:26 | Acts 7:55 | 1 Corinthians 2:13 | 1 Corinthians 12:3 | Hebrews 3:7
sends us Acts 13:4
guides us Acts 16:6 | Acts 20:28 | 1 Peter 1:12
gives us gifts Hebrews 2:4
approves us as ministers of God 2 Corinthians 6:6
witness with us Acts 5:32 | Romans 9:1 | Hebrews 10

However there is Scripture in God's Holy Word, in more than one place, that can give us the conclusion that Michael the Archangel has the function of restraining satan:

Revelation 12:7-9
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

It is the dragon which gives the beast his power. It is Michael who is currently holding back the revealing of the antichrist.

J said...

There is NOT ONE MAN "antichrist". There IS a false prophet, which is what most confuse for a "one man antichrist" but he is merely one piece of the puzzle.

As you said, the Antichrist is based in Rome, the city of seven hills, as prophecized.

Has not the Catholic Church murdered millions of protestant "heretics"?

As the bible states, it is a WOMAN riding a BEAST. In biblical symbology:

Woman = Church
Beast = Nation

So it is a Church-Nation. There is only ONE church-nation on Earth: the Catholic Church, i.e. Vatican State.

And it is followed by over one billion people currently, and China has made agreements to allow ONLY catholicism access to their 1.4 billion, and the 1.2 billion in india are quickly following.

Protestantism is basically banned in Nazi China as it was banned in Nazi Germany (though that is excluded from ALL public school history curriculum), they were forced to join the "state" protestant churches, which gave state-sponsored sermons, with state-picked ministers or be shut down, while Catholicism is left unhindered.

Speaking of Nazi Germany, Hitler said he would "always remain a catholic". Himmler who carried out the final solution, was a devout catholic.

Goering, Goebbels, and most other high level Nazis were catholics. During Nuremburg, all high-level catholics (i.e. Goering, Goebbels etc.) refused to apologize, while all high-level protestants (i.e. Rudolf Hess) apologized for their role.

It shouldn't be so hard to understand that the largest religious denomination in the world is the "antichristian" movement.

Or have you forgotten the dozen crusades (4 against muslims, but 6 against christian heretics).

Even the Yellow Star used by Hitler was taken from the Yellow Cross used by Catholics on the French Cathars christian "heretics" of whom, tens of thousands were massacred on behalf of the Pope.

Billy said...

Obviously there are lots of views being expressed. To those posting...what are your qualifications to teach Bible Prophecy? I know the staff at Lamb & Lion have decades of prayerful study backing them up. And I know they test what they say by what scripture says. That is why I have to be swayed by Dr. Reagan and Nathan Jones. If you post a rebuttal, please also state your study background in Bible Prophecy to be taken more seriously.

Nathan Jones said...

For a detailed article and discussion on the Restrainer, check out the previous post Who or What is the "Restrainer?".

Anonymous said...

The antichrist will come from rome, yes. But we need to redefine what we think about Rome. Rome is now just a city, but at the time of john, it was an empire that encompassed most of the known world. Looking back into Daniel's interpretation of nebechadnezzars dream, rome is represented by the 2 iron legs in the statue. But, the feet are the final empire. There is a new empire very similar to rome, yet like the feet of iron and potters clay, not quite rome. The United States of America. This nation was founded on roman precepts. The woman who rides the back of the beast. Columbia, the goddess of the roman senate, who sits upon our capital building, breast exposed. This nation is run by people who claim to be "christians", yet steal,murder, fornicate, etc etc. The catholic church has absolutely no power. So what china supports catholicism, china is already spoken of as the king of the east who comes against the antichrist with an army the size no one has ever seen. Russia is Gog, just read hal lindsey's the late great planet earth for an explanation of that. The U.S., along with Europe are the 2 feet in the statiu in Daniel.