Coming World Emperor, Part II 

      Anti-Christ will be the embodiment of everything Satan ever wanted in this life. He will be the deceiver of all human deceivers, and the Bible says his deception will be so powerful that, if possible, he would deceive even the elect.

     The title "Anti-Christ" only appears in the first and second epistles of John. John affirms that a truth commonly known among Christians was that they had "heard that anti-Christ is coming". He also pointed out that "the spirit of the anti-Christ" was already present in the apostolic age and could be identified by its denial that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, had come in the flesh. (1st John 2:18, 22; 4:3 and 2nd John 7).

     God has given other descriptive titles of the coming anti-Christ. In Daniel 7 he is called "the little horn" (verses 8, 11, 20, 21, 24, 25). Daniel 9 speaks of  him as  ". . .the prince who is to come. . .(verse 26). In Daniel 11:36 he is "the king who will do as he pleases." Our New Testament gives us other titles and revelation about the anti-Christ.

The Abomination of Desolation

     During the last week of His earthly ministry Jesus revealed to his disciples that Israel’s Temple would soon be destroyed so that "not one stone shall be left upon another." (Matthew 24:2). Jesus and His disciples departed the Temple and walked to a crest of the Mount of Olives and sat down to view the city. His disciples came and asked Him, ". . .when will these things be?   And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" (24:3). His answer to these questions is given in the rest of Matthew 24 and chapter 25.

     In Matthew 24:15, Jesus referred to an event described in Daniel 9:26, 27 in which "the prince who is to come" will commit an act in the coming rebuilt Temple that will be so heinous that it will be an abomination that makes the Temple desolate. Jesus takes that event and elevates it to a title of the coming anti-Christ. "Therefore, when you see the Abomination of Desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place . . .". Jesus revealed that this event will be one of the most climactic moments in human history.

          It will mark the suave but deceitful "prince who is to come" as the  long prophesied anti-Christ.

          It will mark the exact midpoint of the seven-year peace treaty between Israel and the anti-Christ.

          It will mark the beginning of the greatest persecution the people of Israel have ever endured.

         It will mark the beginning of "Great Tribulation."

          It will mark the beginning of the end for the anti-Christ. From this point he will have 1260 days before
               being cast into the lake of fire.

Man of Sin / The Lawless One

     A close reading of 2nd Thessalonians 2:1-3 reveals that an imposter had written the Christians in Thessalonica telling them that the Day of The Lord had already come and they were already in the Great Tribulation. Because of the intense persecution they were experiencing they believed it was possibly true. When Paul became aware of this he wrote the church giving an explanation about the timing and activities of the coming world emperor.

Two Events Necessary Before The Day of The Lord

     In 2nd Thessalonians 2:3,  Paul stated that two significant events must take place before the Day of the Lord begins:

    1. There must come to pass a great apostasy. i.e., a great departure from the faith Christendom.
    2. The man of sin or lawlessness must be revealed. "Sin is lawlessness" (1st John 3:4).

     In 2nd Thessalonians 2:6-8a Paul sheds a great deal of light on what makes it possible for these two events to come to pass.
     "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…"

     We must ask the question, "What person is powerful enough to restrain Satan from producing his anti-Christ?" Virtually any born again child of God will quickly answer "God." Those who are well taught in scripture will add, "in the person of the Holy Spirit." Why? Because God’s program for the church age is for the Holy Spirit to live in the bodies of Christians and accomplish God’s work through them. On the night before Jesus died on the cross He said to His disciples, "Nevertheless I tell you that truth.  It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (the Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come (to you), He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment…He shall glorify me…" John 16:7, 8, 14a

     The mystery of the church age is explained by the apostle Paul as ". . .Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27. Indeed, the only Temple God has on earth throughout the church age is the body of believers..   "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you…"   "…for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are."1st Corinthians 3:16, 17; 6:19. The one factor restraining Satan from producing his anti-Christ is the Holy Spirit working through the bodies of true Christians.

But The Blessed Restrainer Will Be "Taken Out of The Way’ And Then That Lawless One Will Be Revealed."
2nd Thessalonians 2:7b, 8a.
     And when will this happen? It will happen at an event Paul described to the Thessalonians in his first letter to them. 
     "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And thus we shall always be with the Lord." 1st Thessalonians 4:16, 17

     The sudden snatching away of every true believer in Christ from off the face of the earth will remove the one restraint that keeps the church from apostasy and Satan from producing his anti-Christ.

     Sadly we must admit there are hosts of churches that would lose few members by Jesus taking the truly saved home. Likewise, there are hosts of seminaries and denominational headquarters that would not lose any significant leadership. The event we call the Rapture will truly be a blessed moment for those saved by the grace of God, but it will leave what we call earthly Christendom without one true child of God in any of its institutions. The apostasy or departure from the true faith of Christianity will follow almost as quickly as the sudden catching away of true believers from the earth.

     Likewise, all restraints will be gone from Satan producing his anti-Christ. No doubt that in the beginning he will come across as a pleasant, kind, peace-loving and yet, brilliant leader. But Paul describes the kind of person he will be revealed to be 3 ½ years after he enters into a 7 year peace treaty with Israel.

     He "opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God."  2nd Thessalonians 2:4.   "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 among those who perish…"   2nd Thessalonians 2:9, 10a.

     And then, Paul focuses his attention on those masses of humanity who will be deceived by this "man of lawlessness.",

     "…because they did not receive the love of the truth that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them strong delusion that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."   2nd Thessalonians 2:10b, 11, 12.

     Oh how lightly the masses of humanity have come to listen to the saving gospel of Christ! Paul states with fervent passion that those who do not receive a love of God’s truth are destined to be deceived by the devil’s lies with the result being their eternal condemnation.

The Beast Out Of The Sea

     God gave to the aged apostle John a vision of the coming world emperor. The record of that vision surfaces at different places from Revelation 6 through 20. Space only allows the following summation:

     The true nature of the coming world emperor is presented to us in Revelation 13. He is called "the beast out of the sea." This identifies him as head of the revived Roman empire which was pictured as the fourth beast coming up out of the sea in Daniel 7:2,8. We are told the beast has ten horns and seven heads. This harmonizes with the fourth beast of Daniel 7. The ten horns represent ten nations federated together to form the revived Roman empire. As in Daniel 7, the seven heads represent seven kings who remain after the beast deposes three and takes control of their nations.

     The beast is represented as a composite of the three empires that ruled over Israel before Rome. It is like a leopard (Greece) with feet like a bear (Medo-Persia) and the mouth of a lion (Babylon). Daniel 7:1-6

     We are told in verse 2 that the dragon (Satan, Revelation 12:9) is the one who gives the emperor his power, his throne and his great authority. The dragon (Satan) is also pictured as having seven heads and ten horns in Revelation 12:3.

     In verse 3 it appears that even as the Roman empire received a death blow and yet shall rise again even so the world emperor will have a similar experience of apparent death and resurrection. The whole earth will be amazed and follow after the beast. (verse 3b) and will proceed to consciously worship the devil as well as the beast. (verse 4). This is what Satan has wanted from the moment he rose up in opposition against God.

     We are informed that the emperor will blaspheme God; make war with the saints and overcome them.

     Not surprisingly we find that Satan will round out the unholy trinity with a false prophet. . .the head of the apostate religions of the world.

     What has been the most unbelievable declaration is that the emperor’s primary means of control will be a world economic system. Everyone will be required to receive a number on their right hand or forehead in order to buy anything or sell anything. That is a very recent possibility.

     Should these prophecies of the coming emperor/anti-Christ cause fear for true Christians? No, indeed. In all the prophecies of his rule in Revelation 6 through 18 the church is not mentioned on earth. These are the last seven years in which God is accomplishing His purposes with Israel. The church, the bride of Christ, is in Heaven, celebrating the marriage supper of the lamb. This is the future of those who do receive a love of the truth and trust Jesus Christ to forgive their sins and save their soul.

Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scriptures quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted



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