The Rise of the Antichrist

One day soon, I believe an evil world ruler whom Christians call the Antichrist is going to rise on the world scene. The apostle Paul calls him the "man of lawlessness" and the "son of perdition" (2 Thessalonians 2:3).  The first appellation refers to the fact that he will disregard God's laws. The prophet Daniel said: "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." (Daniel 7:25)

The second term, "son of perdition", is literally "son of destruction". When he comes to power the world will essentially be destroyed.

The reign of Adolph Hitler, in which the people (and particularly the Jews) lived and suffered, will pale in comparison to what will happen under the reign of the Antichrist. Hitler came to power during the economic depression of the 1920s and 1930s. One tool that he found indispensable was to create a scapegoat for Germany's problems. He told the people that the Jews were the cause of their troubles. This allowed him to persecute them since the German people wanted their hard economic times to go away. Similarly, I believe that the Antichrist will rise to power during harsh economic conditions as described in the Third Seal judgment. He too will find a convenient scapegoat for all the woes of the world. As Daniel said above, he will blame the followers of God and wear them out through persecution.

Some people wonder if the Antichrist is alive on the earth at this time. If the events that I have spoken of are in the near future, then it is very possible that he is indeed living somewhere on the earth at this moment.

He will begin the process of his ascendancy to world domination through some sort of agreement or peace treaty. He will seemingly have the answers to the world's economic and spiritual problems. Meanwhile, he will be raising an international army to suppress opposition, particularly those who are followers of God.

Some believe that the Antichrist will come to power in the continent of Europe. There are primarily two biblical reasons for this assertion. Both of them are in the Book of Daniel.

The first has to do with an interpretation that Daniel gave concerning a dream that King Nebuchadnezzar had. In that dream, Nebuchadnezzar saw a great or giant image, which may have been a statue. This statue had a head of gold, its chest and arms were made of silver, its stomach and thighs were brass, the legs were iron, and its feet and toes were part iron and part clay. Daniel stated that each of these sections of the image represented a world empire. (Daniel 2:1-45)

Daniel said that the head was the Babylonian Empire of King Nebuchadnezzar. The chest and arms would be the Medo-Persian Empire, the stomach and thighs represented the Greek Empire under Alexander the Great, and the legs of iron were the Roman Empire which would trodden down the people. Daniel prophesied concerning this fourth or Roman Empire, "And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things: and as iron that breaks all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise." (Daniel 2:40) This is an apt description of the Roman Empire which did conquer the known world with its mighty and disciplined armies. Daniel then states that the toes were made of iron and clay. This means that this final kingdom would be partly strong and partly broken or weak. These ten toes represented ten future kings. Daniel speaks of these kings in a later chapter.

In a vision that he himself had Daniel saw four beasts which represented the same four world empires of King Nebuchadnezzar's dream.(Daniel 7:1-27) Concerning the fourth beast Daniel said:

"7 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. 8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things." (Daniel 7:7-8)

This section again refers to the dreadful power of the Roman Empire. There are two things to notice in this passage. The first is that the beast had ten horns of which three fell. The second is the little horn was a man who spoke great things. An angel interprets this vision for Daniel:

"23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25 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. 26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end." (Daniel 7:23-26)

Both the dream of Nebuchadnezzar and the vision of Daniel spoke of the Roman Empire. The ten toes of the statue and the ten horns of the beast are ten kings. Then a great king comes along who will subdue three of the ten kings and will magnify himself against the most High God. This little horn or king will be the Antichrist.

The Book of Revelation also refers to these ten kings and the Antichrist who shall come from among them:

"1 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. 2 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." (Revelation 13:1-2)

Since the Roman Empire and its people gravitated to Europe, some believe that the descendants of the Romans comprise the majority of the Europeans. This leads to the belief that from them the Antichrist will rise to power.

The second passage in Daniel that seems to allude to the Antichrist coming out of the Roman Empire and therefore Europe states:

"26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined." (Daniel 9:26)

The "prince" who destroyed Herod's Temple in 70 A.D. was the Roman General Titus. Thus, the "people of the prince" were the Romans who made up his army. Since this was only a foreshadow of the final destruction of the third or Tribulation Period Temple, the fulfillment of this prophetic passage has yet to occur. However, this too appears to be a reference to the Roman Empire and a future "prince" who will arise out of it.

This has led some end-times scholars to believe that the Antichrist will rise to power through a confederation of European countries such as the European Union. He may indeed ascend to the leadership of the European Parliament since Europe has been historically anti-Semitic and he will be the greatest anti-Semite who ever lived. He will have the support of ten other leaders of whom three he will overcome. At some point early on, he will use his newfound power to insert himself into the politics of Israel and the Middle East. He will make a covenant or peace treaty with Israel (anti-Semitism notwithstanding in order to further his true agenda) and possibly the other nations of the world. Finally, he will oversee the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem and will be proclaimed and worshiped by the world as the messiah.

After three and one-half years of his reign he will be possessed by the Devil and declare himself God while sitting in this newly rebuilt Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Several things occur as soon as he commits this flagrant and nefarious act.

The Jews in Israel will realize they have followed a false Messiah and will flee to the wilderness (possibly Petra in Jordan) where God will supernaturally protect them. The other leaders in the world will determine that he is a megalomaniac and will send their armies toward Israel to make war against him. This will result in the final war of human history, which will take place in and around Israel and will end in the holy city of Jerusalem.


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