In part 1 of this article, we covered many identifying features of the antichrist. We know from the scriptures that God will grant him authority in the earth for a fixed period of time, 3.5 years or 42 months. His authority begins at the abomination of desolation in the soon to built Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, when he falsely declares himself to be God. The antichrist will be a charismatic individual who doesn't honor any of the gods of the various religions, but will honor those who honor him by giving them the political spoils.
He will be a man of action in the European Community. We know that a revived Roman empire will arise, led by 10 leaders or kings. The antichrist will not be one of the original 10 leaders, but will arise and overthrow 3 of the 10 leaders or nations. In doing so, he will gain ascendancy in the European Community or revived Roman empire. We learned that he will have economic control, and control of the law and court systems.
Right after the antichrist performs the abomination of desolation in the middle of the end-times 7 year period, he finds himself embroiled in world war 3. Egypt will lead a coalition of Arab nations in attacking Israel and starting WW3, with the guarantee that a Russian-led coalition of nations will join the war to crush Israel. The antichrist will lead the opposing forces on the side of Israel, culminating in the crushing defeat of Egypt, the Arab nations, and Russia and her allies. It is the victory in battle which allows the antichrist to seize the day and implement economic control over the entire world, to relieve a world weary of all-out war. The war will have sown the seeds for cruel dictatorship, augmented by technological control of the masses.
Where does the antichrist get his power, and why does God allow this to happen? In a real sense an antichrist can arise because people are in rebellion against God. Rejecting the truth, they construct their own false utopian ideals and build civil philosophical systems which lead ultimately lead to misery and enslavement. Government that grows large is rapacious in its appetite for more power, the result of trusting man's own wisdom rather than the wisdom of God. So, God allows the self-destruction brought on by this rebellion as an object lesson for all creation. He allows sin and rebellion to reap the ultimate harvest of evil, separation from the wisdom and love of God. He allows the antichrist authority to act to further delve the depths of depravity in a short time. We see this clearly in the prophetic texts.
Christians will be here during the Great Tribulation period and at its end will be instantly changed to their immortal, imperishable bodies in the rapture of believers. The 6th Seal events occur at the time of the rapture, and then the Day of the Lord begins. Consequently, Christians will be here on earth during the first part of the antichrist's allotted time of authority. In Daniel 7:21, we are told that the antichrist will come against believers, "I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them." We see that same idea expressed in the book of Revelation.
As we shall shortly see, the dragon is identified in Revelation 12:9 as the Devil and Satan, who gives his power and authority to the antichrist to act. The above text is very symbolic, with the woman presenting the Jews, who will flee into southern Jordan when Israel is invaded by the Arab coalition and Russian-led forces of world war 3. The offspring of the woman are Christians, and these Christians will bear the brunt of the antichrist's fury. Another view is held by the Roman Catholic church, where they believe that the woman is Mary the mother of Jesus, and she will flee into some sort of wilderness. However, we know that Jesus was born of the Jews, and that the Christian church is the offspring of Judaism. Let me point out again that Satan empowers the antichrist.
By worshipping the antichrist falsely as God, the people of the end-times period will be worshipping Satan. The text clearly states that the antichrist will make war on believers, and this will occur during the Great Tribulation period before Messiah comes in the fulfillment of Rosh Hashanah, in the judgment of the righteous called the rapture. It is disconcerting to read that all who are not believers will worship the antichrist. Jesus told us clearly about that time of persecution during the Great Tribulation period, "And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short." (Matthew 24:22, Mark 13:20).
The antichrist will have a cohort called the False Prophet, who will perform miracles in the presence of the antichrist to falsely convince the people of the world that the antichrist is God. One miracle mentioned is that he will make fire come down out of heaven in front of large crowds. The false prophet will create animated speaking images of the antichrist for people to worship; and if people refuse to worship the image of the antichrist, a built-in system in the animated image will cause them to be killed. (Revelation 13:11-15).
The antichrist economic controlling system will be a mark on the right hand or forehead, without which, no one can buy or sell. The new cybercash and cashless systems are mere precursors of what will come.
Receiving the mark of the beast or antichrist will likely be a voluntary act by a person, so that the person can work, buy the necessities of life, and feed their family. I don't believe that it will be forcibly given, but rather that a coercion by threat of withholding will be used. This mark of the beast system will likely be a means of authorization for travel like a passport, and those who don't have it will be restricted in their travels. God my Father has not yet revealed to me personally, the name of the antichrist or the solution to the 666 riddle, but I am convinced that He will in the near future. If you think that Christians can accept the mark of the beast and not suffer any consequences, take a look at the following text.
If a Christian were forcibly held down and given the mark of the beast against their will, while retaining their faith in Jesus, then the threat above would not be enforced by a merciful and just God. It's for that reason, that I believe that the mark of the beast system will be entirely voluntary. If you choose to accept the mark so that you can buy and sell, you will worship the antichrist to avoid being killed and thus worship Satan. With the strongest possible warning, I warn you all that to accept the mark of the beast for short term advantage will result in eternal punishment. It's not worth it! For those living here on earth during the terrible times of the Great Tribulation, God is our provider and will open doors for your survival and good. Trust God, not the false system of the antichrist.
The antichrist will have but a short period of time allotted to him to exercise his authority. Both the antichrist and Satan can read and will know ahead of time, that they are doomed when the Messiah comes with the mighty angels to take over control of the earth.
The antichrist and false prophet may exercise great authority for a short period of time, but will pay a great price for their atrocities. They will be opposed verbally by the two witnesses (Revelation 11) whom God will send to perform miracles and warn the people of the earth not to accept the mark of the beast or worship his image. Although the antichrist and false prophet will be the ultimate dictatorial oppressors, they will not be able to harm or quiet the two witnesses from their appointed tasks. At the end of their 1260 day ministry, the antichrist will be allowed to kill the two witnesses, and people all over the earth will rejoice, party, and give gifts to celebrate the killing of the two witnesses who constantly reminded them of their sin and rebellion. God will cause the two witnesses to be raised from the dead in front of TV cameras broadcasting over the entire world, and to be taken up into heaven in the sight of all. That's when the 42 months of allotted authority of the antichrist comes to an abrupt end. Within a short number of days, Messiah comes in power and authority to conquer all nations and set up the kingdom of God on earth, 1290 days after the abomination of desolation in the Temple.
We as believers do not look forward to the antichrist,
but to the promised rapture of believers in the judgment of the righteous,
and the soon coming kingdom of God on the earth. It's a sure thing.