What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the alliances of all people and to lift us out of the economic morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, and be he god or devil, we will receive him. (Henry Spaak: UN Speech circa 1957)
The Luciferian Candidate
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. 1 John 2:18
Lots of names have been bantered about over the years as possible contenders for potential front-runners as the seed of Satan. Some more popular names that comically seem to make the list every year are Bill Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Barak Obama, and Prince Charles. But the real money is on the guy no one knows about. I believe that he is alive today and will rise up from obscurity to take advantage of the situation at hand when the time is right. There is much interest over the actual identity of THE Antichrist but we can’t really know who he is or whether he will be of a European or Middle-Eastern background until he is revealed.
The Bible only gives us hints of his personhood prior to his revealing, but nothing so specific as to pinpoint him ahead of his appointed time (2 Thess 2:5-6). All we know is that he comes from somewhere within the boundaries of the old Roman Empire (Dan 2:41-45; 9:26) He goes by many names: The man of the earth (Ps 10:18), the Spoiler (Isaiah 16:4), the Little Horn (Dan 7:8), the Willful King (Dan 11:36), Son of Perdition (2 Thess 2:3) and the Man of Sin (2 Thess 2:3) just to name a few. But to the world, he will be a messiah on a white horse. Whether he is just a genius or he just capitalizes on the systems that are already in place, Satan (who is the god of this age) will hand him his abilities, opportunities, and resources on a silver platter.
Out of all the OT prophets, Daniel was given the most insight into this coming man of sin. But as soon as his book was written, it was then sealed for 600 years until the Apostle John was given the “Apocalypse of Jesus Christ” on the isle of Patmos around 95AD. That Revelation further expounded upon Daniels’ writing so that the early church fathers (ECF) had this, along with the other bits and pieces previously revealed by Jesus and Paul during their day. Hippolytus (170AD-230AD) was a disciple of Irenaeus. Hippolytus wrote the “Treatise on Christ and Antichrist” and he believed that the Antichrist would come from the Tribe of Dan based on Jacob’s prophecy found in Genesis 49:17 and Moses’s prophecy in Deuteronomy 33:22. This lends credence to Jesus’ statement to the Pharisees in John 5:43- I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.
Would they accept as Messiah one who was not Jewish?
The Mark of the Man
Aside from some descriptions of what he physically looks like, we can know three specific areas that will mark this man as THE Antichrist and not just an antichrist:
I. Political: He will conquer by a false peace (Dan 7:23-25, Rev 6:1), and confirms an already existing covenant with ‘Israel and the many’ (Dan 9:27)
a. Israel would have to be back in existence as a nation, which precludes everyone prior to 1948.
b. Several treaties have already been enacted since 1948 (Egypt & Jordan Peace Treaties, Oslo Accord). This covenant may yet still be future, pending the outcomes of any further conflicts between Israel and her neighbors.
c. He is able to capitalize on decades of failed peace treaties and failed politics, coming at exactly the right moment when the world is crying out for someone to lead them due to the ‘perfect crisis’.
d. I believe what will make this man different than all the other leaders before him is his ability to harness the “extra-terrestrial” (or satanic) powers to do his bidding.
II. Economic: He incorporates a global system of commerce so that none can buy or sell without his name, or the number of his name. (Rev 13:16-18)
a. This feat would have been impossible prior to the invention of the computers and the Internet age. Furthermore, this would have been impossible even 10 years ago because the Internet infrastructure had not yet been refined to the point to meet the technology available. But, we are increasingly trending towards this capability with advancements in nanotechnology and an increasingly interlinked global market.
b. It is unlikely that the Universal Product Code (UPC) barcode is the mark of the beast, but it certainly opened the door for that type of tracking technology to come through it. With technology doubling every 24 months or so, it will have to be something that is compatible with the human body such as electronic tattoos or some breakthrough event known as the Singularity. This could be what is meant by Jesus in Matthew 24:22 as the mark may fundamentally transform what it is to be human, which makes it irreversible.
III. Religious: 1260 days into the Tribulation, He commits the ultimate defilement of the newly rebuilt Jewish Temple known as “the Abomination of Desolation” by demanding worship of himself. (Dan 9:27, Matt 24:15, 2 Thess 2:3-12, Rev 13:8)
a. This would demand the construction of a new Jewish Temple first, which would necessitate Israel having the political desire to rebuild such a temple. They are increasingly trending towards this mindset thanks to their continued global isolation.
b. The temple may be built north of the Dome of the Rock on a flat piece of ground where experts believe the Holy of Holies actually sat. This would leave the Muslims their mosque in what historically was the courtyard of the Gentiles. (Rev 11:1-2)
The Spirit of the Man
There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. Revelation 17:10-11
We know that man is not immortal in the flesh, but the spirit of antichrist will be one he inherits, which when given the right time, and right circumstances, will result in this man becoming THE Antichrist. Rev 17:10-11 can be a difficult scripture to sort out, but here is what I have come to understand about the spirit of antichrist and how it relates to THE Antichrist. Out of eight (leaders) alive in John’s day, five have fallen (have met violent deaths):
1. Julius Caesar-stabbed,
Caesar Augustus not murdered
7. Domitian-alive when John received the Revelation (one is)
8. And one is yet to come…The one who comes out of perdition, will be the spirit of Caesar Nero, the 6th, whose name spelled out in Hebrew gematria equals 666 (Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus).
So we see that historically speaking, the political and religious aspect of this couldn’t have happened prior to Israel becoming a nation again in 1948. It certainly didn’t happen prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD by the Roman Legions under Titus. The economic aspect couldn’t have happened at any point in history prior to the computer age. Computers make it possible to process vast amounts of information quickly, and the Internet makes it possible to transmit that information to any point on the planet instantaneously. Combined together, this technology has allowed mankind for the first time, to track buying and selling across the globe in real time. Satan has had to wait lo these many centuries for the ‘marrying’ of all three phases of his plan to come together, in order for his man, the Antichrist, to become a reality.
I’m convinced that the Rapture is a lot closer than we think. Our Blessed Hope will be Satan’s ‘perfect crisis’ or ‘hour of testing’ that will come upon the whole world. Christ Himself said that the world has yet to see such a time as the one that is coming (Matt 24: 21-22). But here are my reasons for believing we are close:
1. The current world economic structure is starting to buckle under its own weight, but Christ said that people would be going about their daily life as if nothing has changed when He returns at the Rapture. (Luke 17:26-30) Logic dictates that after the 21 Judgments found in Revelation, life would be anything BUT normal so this can’t be referencing the 2nd Coming in Glory found in (Matt 24:29-31, Rev 19:11-16).
2. The Jewish Messianic movement is still small, but considerably larger than what it was only a couple of decades ago. Remember what Christ said? (Matt 10:23)
3. Apostasy is sweeping through much of the western church (2 Tim 3:1-9, 2 Peter 3: 3-7, Rev 3:15-22) as the remnant of true believers continues to grow smaller (Rev 3:7-10)
4. The prophet Hosea speaks of Israel’s redemption on the 3rd day (Hosea 6:2), Christ would be raised on the 3rd day (Matt 16:21, Luke 9:22). Both speak of redemption/resurrection ON the 3rd day, not after it. Peter figuratively states that a ‘day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day’ (2 Peter 3:8). Figuratively speaking, we’re on our 3rd day since Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.
5. For the first time in history (since the advent of CNN) we have the ability for the whole world to watch what happens on the streets of Jerusalem in real time.
6. We are the ONLY generation to live in an Atomic age, when we could even understand how 2 Peter 3:10-13 could happen.
So if we see all these things coming to pass for the Tribulation to occur, how much closer are we to the imminent return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:28