Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.
The End Times. For some folks this is a controversial subject, to others it is freighting. The End of the World .. as we know it anyway. It is a little spooky. How will it happen? When? Will anyone survive? If so, then who?
The last words our Lord Jesus spoke to his disciples just before he ascended to heaven where .. “Low I am with you until the end of the World.”
And what about this Antichrist fellow? What does Scripture say about him? Will he be a real person? How will we know it is him? Has he already come and are we living in the Tribulation right now? Will the Antichrist appear before the Rapture, or will he usher in the Rapture? What is the Rapture anyway?
The Apostle John tells us much about the End Times in Revelations and his epistles. Paul also talked to the subject. Also we find in the Old Testament the book Daniel speaks to the subject also and there are others. Much of the Bible concerns itself with prophecy.
Now .. prepare yourself for a shock. It will all come true. And most likely the time table has already been put into motion. I have never looked at the End Times perditions as prophecy. They are fact. The will happen. The one critical source for all knowledge, past, present or future is Jesus. He talks to the subject on several occasions. If Christ says it will happen .. It will happen.
I am amazed at how hard preachers and clergy try to avoid talking about the subject. They seem to have the Wait and See attitude. And their attitude is transmitted down to their congregations. If they avoid the issue/questions .. it will go away. Why worry about the future, tomorrow … living today is enough on its own. This is true, but we should not avoid teaching the End times. There are 6 or 7 books in the Bible that are totally dedicated to this subject. This is more than any other subject talked about in the Bible except for our Lord, Jesus Christ. Jesus speaks on the subject throughout the Gospels making him the Apocalyptic Prophet of the Bible.
Now .. Lets take a closer look at the Antichrist.
There are many people who are talking about this individual and the events he will usher in. The are numerous End Time books on the market, but many do not adhere closely enough to the details and teaching within the Bible. There can be no other source to End Time prophecy’s than the Bible itself. So .. What does the Bible say?
The Bible teaches that when the Antichrist comes onto the scene, there will absolutely be no doubt about his identity. At first his deeds and doctrine will seem great and just. But they will eventually expose him to the world as evil. But not before he has won many followers. The apostle John made it clear that many people would come along in the spirit of the antichrist. The word Antichrist meaning “against Christ, or false Christ.”
He will rise to power very quickly as a world leader. How quick .. a few months or maybe weeks. He will be the embodiment of evil, one who is empowered and directed by the devil himself. This will be the Antichrist. Now notice .. it is important we understand this .. he will embodied by Satan, not Satan himself. Satan is a spirit .. a powerful evil spirit.
John refers to the Antichrist as the Beast. The Beast will be the embodiment of the entire spirit of the antichrist He will have supernatural power and global influence. He will be able to perform miracles. Or what appear to be miracles. He will first appear as a political leader. He will bring peace to Israel and assume world leadership.
At the beginning he will be seen as a great peacemaker and politician, but will deceive the world with additional miracles and powerful influence over people. It will not be until then that he will take on more of a role as a religious leader.
Working in support of the Antichrist will be another powerful leader. The Bible refers to him as the False Prophet.
The False Prophet will be the religious leader of this time. He will perform great and miraculous feats, therefore gathering credibility among the earth’s people His ability to perform miracles will deceive many. Remember, within limitations, Satan can perform miracles. Therefore, the False Prophet working through the Antichrist (Satan) will be able to perform miracles.
Because of his credibility evolving from the miracles, the False Prophet will be able to deceive millions, billions, with his false teaching. His teachings will be centered on worship of the Antichrist and rejection of Christ. Because of his teachings, a new world religion will emerge. Signs of this religious grouping already exist today in what we call New Age religions.
There has been much talk about the False Prophet requiring everyone to wear the mark of the Beast on the hand or forehead as a sign that he or she has worshiped the Beast. Speculation on the mark has been the number 666. But this is only speculation at best. Scripture mentions the mark, but does not go into detail. So its best to leave this mark and who will wear it up to the future. But Scripture does say that the mark will be a requirement for survival in the days of the Tribulation.
Satan’s desire has always been to be worshiped. This was one of the original issues that got him thrown out of Heaven in the first place. In his eyes, he is as great or greater than God. Therefore he should be worshiped. And if not worshiped as God himself, then surely as the second in command. Therefore if he can deceive the earth peoples into believing that Jesus was a false prophet, and he is the long awaited Messiah, he will be worshiped.
Stay turned .. The End of the World is yet to come.
But it might be wise to stay alert. The End might come sooner than you think.