Today there are two prospective kingdoms on collision course. God has appointed a man to rule this world, Luke 1:31-33, "And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."
Satan has also chosen a man to rule the world. Revelation13:4-8, "And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. We have two rulers on a collision course, Jesus Christ and Antichrist. One of the most significant events of the last days is the rise of Antichrist. He will be the most rebellious, anti-God, human being who will ever appear on the face of the earth."
The Person of Antichrist
1 – He is an intellectual genius Dan. 7:8 “In this horn (antichrist) were eyes like the eyes of a man”. Eyes refer to intelligence in scripture, the capacity to view a situation, to understand it, and to use the situation to advantage. He will be a man with incredible intellectual capacity.
2 – He will be an outstanding orator. He will sway the whole world. Leadership is based upon the ability to speak and sway men. Dan. 7:8 “A mouth speaking great things”, Dan. 7:20 “A mouth that spoke very great things”. Men and women everywhere will be attracted to him, will like him, will trust him and follow him. They will say, this is the kind of man the world has always needed, he is our kind of man.
3 – He will be a master politician. First he will captivate the Revived Roman Empire but after 3 ½ years he will rule the whole world. In Rev. 6:2 we see him with “a bow” and no arrows; he uses political means to conquer the whole world. Dan. 11:21 “And he shall come in peaceably and obtain the kingdom by flatteries”. The world will say, “this is our man”, “he is a good guy”, “he can get things done”, “he thinks like I do”.
4 – He is a commercial wizard. He will bring unprecedented prosperity to the whole world. Initially it will appear to be for all. Dan. 8:25 “And through his policy also he shall cause deceit to prosper in his hand”. He will control such institutions as the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. He will use them to develop a prosperous world economy, men will love him because he initially puts money in their wallets. Revelation18 describes prosperity for a few, such as the world has never known. Everything that is sold anywhere in the world will be under his control. "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" (Revelation3:17).
5 – He will be a military genius. The greatest military genius the world has ever known. Dan. 7:23 “… and he shall devour the whole earth and tread it down and break it in pieces”. When civil wars and unrest arise, he will say, “Give me control of your police forces and your armies and I will take care of the problems”. By the time the world wakes up it will be too late! Revelation13:4 “Who is able to make war with the beast?”.
6 – He is a religious leader. “All that dwell on the earth shall worship him” Rev 13:8. Also 2 Thessalonians 2:4, "Who opposeth and 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."
The Transitions of Antichrist
In the first half of the tribulation period he appears to be a benevolent, charismatic, popular leader. He has something to please everyone. He totally deceives Israel, the Church and the nations. Even when he kills and brutalizes people, they will think he has a good cause in what he does.
In the second half of the tribulation period he turns against the harlot church and utterly destroys it. Revelation 17:16, "And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire." He turns against those who come to Christ and refuse to worship him Revelation 13:15, "And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed." Counterfeit christianity will be slaughtered.
He turns against Israel Zechariah13:8, "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. Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."
Finally he turns upon Christ Daniel 8:25, "And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand."
7 – His fate 2 Thessalonians 2:8, "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:"
Understand three things:
I. The church must be raptured before Antichrist appears on the scene. 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-3, "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him. That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition."
II. There are no signs for the rapture, it is imminent event that could happen at any moment.
III. There are a multitude of signs in scripture that now indicate that Christ’s Second Coming is drawing near. However we know the rapture must precede the second coming so the rapture must be near at hand.
The stage is set for the tribulation period to begin and Antichrist to appear on the scene.
There are many situations in our world today which indicate Antichrist is about to appear on the stage, but that is a topic for another day!