THE RISE OF THE ANTICHRIST
By Michael Roy and Scott MacGregor
“The Antichrist is coming.” (1 John 2:18)
The most outstanding and ominous sign of the end of the world as we know it—a sign that the Bible devotes several key chapters to—will be the rise of a Devil-possessed tyrant known as the Antichrist, or “the Beast,” who will set up a world government “over every tribe, tongue, and nation.” (Revelation 13:7)
There are already signs that the world is heading toward the global government that this verse seems to imply. Many present international and supranational bodies, treaties, and protocols have at their core the promotion of regional or global cooperation and integration. The European Union now encompasses 27 nations, with more seeking admittance. The African Union, which was formed in 2001, includes 53 African nations. In 2004, the nations of South America signed the Cuzco Declaration announcing the foundation of the South American Community modeled after the European Union, including goals of a common currency, parliament, and passport. The declared aim of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue, which includes the megastates of Russia, China, and India, as well as 27 other Asian countries, is to transform the continent into an Asian Community.
The United Nations, with its 192 member states, is the hub for many organizations that affect and regulate our lives, such as the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Commission, the International Labor Organization, UNESCO, the International Court of Justice (the World Court), the International Criminal Court, and the World Bank.
Globalization of the economy is a reality. Numerous trade bodies and treaties are already in place, such as the World Trade Organization, ASEAN, NAFTA, and Mercosur.
The Jerusalem peace accord
It appears that the Antichrist will rise to power on a political platform of peace, security, and economic stability. Like Satan himself, who can appear as an angel of light, this man will deceive most of the world into thinking that he is a great man of peace, a hero. The prophet Daniel wrote that “he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue.” (Daniel 11:21) He confirms with many other leaders an international protocol that Daniel called “the Holy Covenant.” (Daniel 9:27; 11:22-32)
Whether this world government that the Antichrist heads is already in power or it comes to power when this document is signed, we don’t yet know. The Scriptures clearly state, however, that this covenant will have a planned duration of seven years, and that it will be pivotal to the Antichrist’s claim to world leadership. This pact will also accomplish the seemingly impossible task of resolving the Middle East crisis, at least temporarily.
It seems the compromise between the Israelis and the Palestinians will include Jerusalem and its holy sites. A central issue will be Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, which is sacred to Jews (their Temple stood there before being destroyed by the Romans in 70 ad), and to Muslims (the Dome of the Rock, part of the Al-Haram al-Qudsi al-Sharif complex, the third most revered holy place in Islam, stands there today). Scripture indicates that the Antichrist’s covenant will enable the Jews to rebuild their national temple, where they will revive their ancient rituals of animal sacrifice. (Daniel 8:23-25; 9:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4)
Much of the religious paraphernalia and building materials for this temple have already been fabricated and stored, and the priests and temple attendants are already trained.
The biblical prophet Ezekiel (circa 623–571 bc) calls the Antichrist “Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.” (Ezekiel 38:2) Scholars agree that the ancient land referred to as Magog appears to be a powerful country or region to the north of Israel, which leads some to believe that the Antichrist will rise out of Russia.
Visions recorded in chapters 2 and 7 of the book of Daniel indicate that the Antichrist will be associated with ten “kings” of nations that were once part of the Roman Empire, which included much of Western and Southern Europe. The book of Revelation says these ten will “give their power and authority unto the beast.” (Revelations 17:13)
There are also indications in Scripture that the Antichrist could have something to do with Egypt. (Daniel 8: 22-26)
The Great Tribulation
Although most of the world will initially hail the Antichrist as a political savior, three and a half years after the enactment of the seven-year covenant, he will revoke the peace pact and manifest his satanic nature. At this time he apparently will invade Israel and establish himself in Jerusalem, making that city his world capital. (Daniel 11:45)
His government will then outlaw all religions except the worship of the Antichrist and an image of himself that will somehow be empowered to speak and “cause as many as would not worship [it] to be killed.” (Revelations 13:14-15) Jesus said that when you see this image, the “abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place [temple] … then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world.” (Matthew 24:15;21) Thus the name given to this period is the “Great Tribulation.” It will be a time when the Antichrist and his regime will institute a ruthless repression and persecution of believers in God. (Daniel 7:21,25; 8:23-24; 11:31-35; 12:7,10; Revelation 13:5-7)
It is also at this time that the Antichrist government tries to impose the infamous “666” financial system globally.
(Continued in the next issue of Activated. Excerpted from the booklet The Future Foretold . 3rd ed. Aurora Production AG, 2008.)