God said in Genesis 18:17, “And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do” (Genesis 18:17). The Lord was saying, will I tell Abraham about the future, the answer came back yes as the Lord proceeded to do just that. It is a part of the nature of God to reveal to His own children that which He will do in the future, to reveal in prophecy what will happen before it happens.
Approximately 25 percent of the Bible was prophetic when it was written. There are 1527 Old Testament passages referring to the second coming. In the light of these prophecies conservative Bible scholars plainly assert that we are living in the final hour of the Church age. The world is speeding toward its’ ultimate date with destiny. Every day that passes moves us closer to the end. The people of planet earth have a divine appointment to keep. As the clock of time ticks away, mankind comes closer and closer and closer to the final hour of this present world system. All the warnings signs are ignored, including the super-storm Sandy.
Satan is also preparing for that final act in the drama or the “age of man.” Satan is preparing a man, his man, the “man of sin” who will dominate the earth for seven years prior to Christ’s return to reclaim the earth.
Scripture calls this man the “Little Horn” – “Willful King” – “King of Fierce Countenance” – “Son of Perdition” – “Antichrist.” He is also called the “Beast,” actually both this man and his kingdom are called beasts.
Antichrist means opposed to Christ or a substitute Christ. This man of sin will be both.
This deceiver will sign a peace treaty with Israel and the world, guaranteeing peace and security for seven years. The tribulation begins with Israel saying “peace and safety.” The longing of Israelis for the last two thousand years has been for peace and safety; that longing has heightened in recent years.
To Israel, he will present himself as their Messiah. Though he is not a Jew, (Daniel 9:26 clearly indicates he will be a Roman) Israel will receive him as Messiah because God will give them a delusion to believe a lie. “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
The root cause of this divine deception is found in verse 10, “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” To turn away from truth brings deception. Israel rejected their Messiah and they still do today. Jesus said, “I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another (Antichrist) shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” (John 5:43).
How could Israel be so deceived? Not only will God send deception, but we read in 2 Thessalonians 2:9 that this man will receive great powers of deception from Satan. “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” Power to deceive will be a part of Satan’s program for Antichrist.
We believe that he will also deceive both Islam and unregenerate Christianity and that both of these groups are now being set up for that deception.
Please understand that there are two re-gatherings of Israel in the end times.
The first re-gathering is a gathering in unbelief
It precedes the tribulation period. We have witnessed that re-gathering in our lifetime. Yet only half of the world’s Jews are in the land of Israel today.
In this first gathering God’s purpose is to enter into judgment with Israel. “And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury (judgment) poured out” (Ezekiel 20:34). Since the modern re-gathering of Israel God has blessed them in many ways, yet they have not had a moment’s peace. They always seem to be on the brink of destruction. God has constantly placed their backs to the wall and then delivered them in order to draw their hearts back to Himself. God will yet pour out His anger on Israel’s unbelief. Our Lord referred to this coming time as the “Time of Jacob’s trouble.”
The second re-gathering, yet to come, will be a gathering in belief
The Lord will come to set up the kingdom for Israel.
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem” (Isaiah 27:13). That has not happened yet. And in Jeremiah 31:12 we read, “Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.” That has not happened yet. Matthew 24:31, “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” That has not happened yet, but it will happen when the Lord comes to earth at the close of the tribulation period.
The purpose for the present re-gathering of Israel is that God might enter into judgment with her. Antichrist is God’s instrument of judgment upon Israel. Zechariah 13:8, “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.” That is the work of Antichrist as he unknowingly accomplishes the purposes of God, bringing the judgment of God on unbelieving Israel.
Zechariah 13:9 is the work of God, “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” That is also the major purpose of God for the tribulation period, to refine believing Israel and bless them. Jesus warned about the beginning of this mid-tribulation destruction of Israel by Antichrist in Matthew 24:16, “Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.”
There are two attributes of God that are beyond the capacity of man to fully comprehend. One is the extent of the mercy and love and grace of God toward those who will recognize their sin and repent. The other is the hatred and anger of God against sin. Scripture tells us that the anger of God against sin will burn forever. We read in Jeremiah 17:4, “.....for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn forever.” That is why hell is forever.
These two truths are captured in John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
The Appearance of the Beast
In Revelation 13:1 we read about the appearance of the beast. “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” Remember both the kingdom of Antichrist and Antichrist himself are called a beast. You must discern by the context which is being referred to, the nature of a wild beast is used to describe both. In this verse the beast is an empire, an evil empire over which the Antichrist becomes the ruler. From the study of both Daniel and Revelation we know that the ten horns and the ten crowns represent the revived Roman Empire of the last days.
In verse two the designation of the term beast switches from the empire to the man. “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” Notice that the power of the beast comes directly from Satan.
We are today seeing the preparations being made for the appearance of both the beast and the kingdom of the beast.
For sixty years now Europe has looked for a powerful ruler to arise and lead them. Some thirty years ago Paul Henri Spaak, Secretary General of NATO stated the following concerning the leadership of Europe.
“We do not need another committee; we have too many already – what we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all people, and to lift us out of the morass into which we are sinking (more significant today than at that time). Send us such a man, and be he god or the devil, we will receive him.”
On October 30, 2012 Tony Blair called for an elected leader who would be able to exercise great power over Europe. This is in reality a call for the appearance of Antichrist, a preparation for the arrival of Antichrist. The stage is being set for the man called the beast to appear on the scene in Europe.
At the same time the stage is being set for the empire of the beast to also appear on the world stage.
In an incredibly powerful interview, on October 26, MEP (Member European Parliament) Nigel Farage told King World News, “They even want to get euro-zone countries to change their constitutions, to write in their constitutions that they will obey all orders from Brussels.” Farage also warned “So it is very, very difficult to ignore those voices who have been telling me for 20 years that behind all of this there are a group of people that want to create a one world government ... it’s beginning to stare us in the face.”
Farage continued, “We’ve reached a point in this where, despite the massive economic, political, and social problems that exist within the euro-zone, and indeed an argument that the North and the South of Europe are diverging by the day, despite all of that, the political class have got so much the upper hand in Brussels, that, actually, they are moving to more and more extreme tactics.”
“(This is being done) to lock countries in to a new form of government which is so far removed from any concept of liberal democracy that I think it’s quite frightening. So I really made the point yesterday (in Parliament) that all of these bailouts that we’ve seen, (were designed to have) they (the countries) get put directly under the command and control of the institutions of the European Union.”
“And frankly, their prime ministers become puppets. And in terms of the people that want to create the European state, they are delighted. They would almost like everyone to go bankrupt and then they are really in charge....”
In the midst of all of the tension and problems in the EU, the stage is being set for a united Europe. This would be a united Europe which would eventually lead a world government. The world-wide economic and monetary problems are also facilitating this move to world government. We also know that there are powerful forces in the US that are working toward world government.
We read about the world-wide kingdom of Antichrist in Revelation 13:7 and 17. “.....power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations..... And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
David Rockefeller stated, “We are just waiting for the right crisis to establish world government.”
I believe that is where these proponents of world government are today. When that crisis arrives the blocks will be quickly put into place.
As we look out at our world today it is not hard to see a soon coming crisis of great magnitude. We have the threat of a mega war in the Mideast involving Israel. That war has the potential for the use of chemical and biological weapons which are sitting in Syria ready to go. It also has the potential for the use of nuclear weapons by Israel and perhaps Iran. This war has the potential to spread widely in the Mideast with the possibility of a Sunni – Shiite conflict.
Along with that war mentioned above, we have the potential loss of oil supplies and an accompanying world-wide economic collapse which would bring men and nations to their knees. A desperate world would cry out for a superman to rescue them no matter neither the cost in lost sovereignty nor the cost in the loss of freedoms.
Nuclear proliferation is striking fear in the hearts of thinking people everywhere and is another reason for nations to surrender to a man who deceives them into believing he can bring peace and safety.
Along with that scenario, the world today is sitting on the potential for numerous wars. We have the potential for war between China and Japan, between China and India, between China and Taiwan. We also have the potential for war between Iran and a number of possible countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey or the USA. Jesus said, in speaking about the last days, “And ye shall hear wars and rumours of wars....”
We have in Revelation 6:2 the indication that in such a time Antichrist will come riding on the world stage as a conquering hero and be crowned the world’s leader by promising peace, and all without firing a shot. “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.”
Before Antichrist appears on the scene the rapture must take place. We are standing on the threshold of the rapture. What ought to be our occupation in the meantime? Remember we are still under our Lord’s commission to, “....Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
We will not be held accountable to the lost for their lost condition, they are without excuse.
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:20, 21).
However, we who are followers of Christ will be held accountable to our Lord for our stewardship of the gospel. When we stand at the judgment seat of Christ I believe He will look us in the eye and say, give me an account of how you obeyed or disobeyed my command to declare the gospel. Many of us will be forced to say that we feared man more than God?
There will be eternal rewards, or the loss of eternal rewards.