In last week’s post, I gave a brief introduction to Satan's unholy trinity. In this post, you’ll learn how the people who are still alive on the earth during the great tribulation can identify the second member of the unholy trinity, a.k.a. the antichrist.
During the seven-year tribulation, a man anointed by Satan himself (Daniel 8:23 & Revelation 13:4) will rise to power and rule the world for a short time. He is the man depicted by the author of Revelation as the rider of the white horse of the Apocalypse.
Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.An antichrist is someone who wars against Christ or tries to take the place of Christ. The Antichrist who’s revealed to us in the book of Revelation will do both.
Revelation 6:1-2 (ESV)
Because God doesn’t want those who are alive in the last days to be deceived by this evil man, He has told us in advance through his prophets everything we need to know about him beforehand so that we can recognize him for who he is when he enters the world scene.
He will confirm and then break a covenantThe prophet Daniel tells us that the Antichrist will confirm a covenant (peace agreement) with many nations for one week. In prophetic terms, one week is seven years.
And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.This will be the first event that helps to identify the antichrist. However, since the covenant with many will most likely be confirmed (signed) by several world leaders, this event only narrows down the field a bit.
Daniel 9:27 (NASB)
The antichrist will reveal himselfThere is a single event in the not so distant future that will positively identify the rider of the white horse. Daniel 12:11 tells us this will happen in the middle of the seven year tribulation period.
In the following verse, the apostle Paul corrects false teaching that occurred in the Thessalonian church. Specifically, that the end times had already arrived. In doing so, he foretells the single event in great detail that will reveal the identity of the antichrist.
Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.Jesus himself foretold that the antichrist would stand in the holy place, which will be in the rebuilt Jewish temple. In the following verse, Jesus was referring to Daniel 9:27.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 (ESV)
So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.We know that this is a future event because no one has ever claimed to be God from the Jewish temple. But this is the way that we’ll be able to positively identify the Antichrist of the tribulation period. We know that this won’t happen until after the rapture of the church because 2nd Thessalonians 2 verses 6-7 tell us that the Holy Spirit will restrain him until the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way. Because the Holy Spirit lives inside true Christians, we know that the restrainer won’t be taken out of the way as long as the children of God are on the earth.
Matthew 24:15-16 (ESV)
And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.It’s obvious that the Antichrist can’t stand in the Jewish temple and proclaim to be god until the temple is rebuilt. Just in case you think that this is some far-off event that will take years on end to complete, check out the Temple Institute website. The Jews have been preparing for the temple to be rebuilt for years so it won’t take long to construct it once the Jews have the political green light from the global powers to do so.
2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 (NIV)
He will not acknowledge Jesus as the MessiahThe antichrist will not acknowledge that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.
But every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.The spirit of the antichrist is from Satan himself. Because Satan doesn’t know when the end of the age will come he has risen up men with the spirit of the antichrist throughout history, even as early as the first century (1 John 2:18). Hitler was such a man and was the shadow of what the antichrist will be like.
1 John 4:3 (NIV)
The apostle John said that anyone who denies that Jesus was born in the flesh is an antichrist (2 John 1:7). The rider of the white horse will also have this spirit and he will be a liar and deny that Jesus is the Messiah (1 John 2:22).
He will be a destroyerGod warned through the prophet Daniel that the antichrist will destroy mighty men and the saints. These particular saints are those who weren’t taken in the rapture of the church that proceeds the antichrist’s rise to power. Instead, they got saved after the rapture.
His power shall be great—but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints.In the following verse, the second word “it” refers to the first beast, otherwise known as the antichrist.
Daniel 8:24 (ESV)
Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.The prophet Daniel refers to the Antichrist in the following verse as a horn.
Revelation 13:7-8 (ESV)
I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them.
Daniel 7:21 (NKJV)
He will be deceitful and narcissisticSatan is the father of lies, so it’s no surprise that the man he anoints to do his will on the earth would also be a master of deceit. He will be so arrogant and narcissistic that he’ll actually rise up to war against Jesus.
By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken—but by no human hand.Unfortunately for the believers who are on the earth during the tribulation, the antichrist will be so cunning in his deceit that he might even convince some believers to turn away from following Christ.
Daniel 8:25 (ESV)
For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Matthew 24:24 (NKJV)
He will be worshipedAnother man referred to in the book of Revelation as the second beast, a.k.a the false prophet will come on the scene who will receive power from the antichrist and cause people to worship him.
It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.
Revelation 13:12 (ESV)
He will emulate death and resurrectionThe antichrist will incur a deadly wound to the head (Revelation 13:3) and then come back to life (Revelation 13:12).
Whether he will really die and resurrect from the dead, I don’t know. But people will believe that he has done so and be caused to worship him as a god because of it.
He will rule the earth for 42 monthsThe antichrist will rule the earth for exactly 42 months, which is 3 ½ years.
And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months.This period of time, which will be the last half of the seven-year tribulation is referred to by the prophet Daniel as time, times, and half a time. A time is equal to one year, times equals two years, and half a time (or the dividing of time in the King James Version) is half a year.
Revelation 13:5 (ESV)
He will be a tyrant and be the leader of 10 rulers (horns).
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
Daniel 7:7 (ESV)
He will change times and laws
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.We see plenty of evidence in the world today for the attempt of changing laws. I’ve seen frequent evidence of this in the United States. When the antichrist rises to power he will have carte blanche to change laws at his discretion. Not only that but he’ll also change the times. Most likely this means getting the whole world on the same calendar. Most of the world today is on the Gregorian calendar but the Chinese have their calendar and the Jews have the Hebrew calendar.
Daniel 7:25 (ESV)
How is unifying the whole world on one calendar a bad thing you ask? I believe it will be an attempt to do away with the Hebrew calendar which is the only calendar that accurately marks the feasts of the Lord.
The term feasts of the Lord doesn’t mean the type of feast like we have on Christmas day. It actually means divine appointment.
He will control all buying and selling
Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.Everyone who wants to participate in the economy, such as buying, selling, or even holding a job will be caused to take the Antichrist’s mark. I discussed this in detail in my earlier post, The mark of the beast.
Revelation 13:16-17 (ESV)
He will be a blasphemerNot only will the antichrist blaspheme God but he will also blaspheme everyone who dwells in heaven.
And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.This was also foretold by the prophet Daniel.
Revelation 13:6 (KJV)
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, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all.
The number of his name is 666At this time, nobody knows the name of the antichrist. But once he’s identified by one or more of the other signs that I mentioned earlier, those who have wisdom will be able to calculate the number of his name and it will equal 666.
Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.
How the antichrist will meet his fateAs you can see, the antichrist will war against God and the saints and cause much turmoil during the last half of the tribulation, also called the great tribulation. But here‘s the good news. He’ll get what’s due to him after his brief reign of terror.
Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.I pray that you will be ready when Jesus calls us home at the rapture so that you won't have to experience the tyrannical reign of the Antichrist. If you know that you're not right with God today, please get right with him today and then warn others so that they may be ready as well. After all, the reason the scriptures tell us before-hand what’s going to happen in the last days is so that we who are paying attention can be ready when Christ comes for his church.
In part 3 of this series, you'll learn seven ways to identify the false prophet.
Your brother in Christ,