The coming antichrist
The coming antichrist

While Israel will be victorious to the end (in spite of the greatest tribulation they will ever experience), the biggest enemy of Israel in these coming end-times will be the antichrist (although he is never actually referred to as the antichrist in all of the book of Revelation). The antichrist will be satan’s man in Israel’s final 7-year period before Christ their Messiah returns to save His people Israel at Armageddon. Effectively, the antichrist will be the embodiment of satan, who is the ruler of all that is evil in this world.

Jesus said of satan (the devil) that “He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44) While God’s every word is truth, all lies are the work of satan.

A passage in 2 Thessalonians gives us a clear understanding of who he really is.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; 7-123Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. ….
7For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way. 8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9[Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

He will be satan’s man; 2 Thessalonians 2:9 declares the antichrist to be “him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” In that same passage he is called the “man of sin“, “the son of perdition“, the “Wicked“, the one who “opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Satan has always desired to be as God. Note Isaiah 14:12-1512How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Satan (= “Lucifer” here) wished to “be like the most High“. He challenged God and lost. Since then satan has tried to control what he considers his kingdom on earth: its people. 1 John 5:19 says that “the whole world lieth in wickedness” or, more correctly, “the whole world lies in the wicked one” or “under the power of the wicked one” (where “the world” here represents all the inhabitants of earth). The people of this world are its citizens while God’s people are no longer citizens of this world but of heaven.
Satan already has the worship of much of the world, but that’s just not enough to satisfy him. He desires the worship of all the world, and in the end-times tribulation period he will, through his servant “the beast” (= the antichrist), demand that all worship him or be executed.
Revelation 13:15And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

In particular satan (through his antichrist, the beast) desires to be worshipped by God’s people, Israel. He desired to be as God (“like the most High“) and to him that means being declared God by Israel. He would then be their god and they would be his people. This is the rationale behind him wanting to sit in the temple of God such that he would be seen as their God.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-43Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

During the tribulation the antichrist will seat himself in the temple as the one to be worshipped, demanding that Israel worship him as their god. This will occur at the midpoint of Israel’s final 7-year period, the tribulation. Jesus alluded to this when He said, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place …” (Matthew 24:15) Daniel spoke of it in Daniel 12:11And from the time [that] the daily [sacrifice] shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, [there shall be] a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
Daniel 9:27 says “And he (the antichrist) shall confirm the covenant with many (the nation of Israel) for one week (Israel’s final 7-year period): and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease (the daily sacrifice will be taken away), and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate (the antichrist will sit in the temple to be worshipped), even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Jesus said that when they saw this “abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place“, they were to urgently flee for their very lives, not even wasting any time to get supplies or clothing etc. Note that in Daniel 9:27 this will occur “in the midst of the week“, that is, in the middle of that 7-year period.
Matthew 24:15-2115When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

The following from Revelation 12 refers to that flight.
Revelation 12:6, 146And the woman (Israel) fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days.
14And to the woman (Israel) were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
God causes Israel to be assisted to flee from the antichrist abomination in the temple, protecting and caring for her for that 2nd half of the tribulation period while the antichrist sits in the temple to be worshipped. This is really ironic in that all satan’s antichrist wants here is to be worshipped by God’s people but when he sets himself up in the temple to be worshipped, Israel up and disappears! It’s certain that God will do everything to avoid His people, Israel, worshipping satan.

Not only does Israel disappear while the antichrist is in the temple, God’s two witnesses (suggested by many to be Elijah and Moses) cause heaps of trouble in Jerusalem at this time. The antichrist cannot get rid of them in a hurry, either.
Revelation 11:3-63And I will give [power] unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 4These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 5And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 6These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

Finally, after 3½ years, the antichrist manages to have them killed. They lie in the streets of Jerusalem for 3½ days with the world throwing thanksgiving parties celebrating their deaths. Then, in view of everyone, the two dead witnesses come back to life and rise to heaven.
Revelation 11:7-127And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8And their dead bodies [shall lie] in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

After this, there’s the build-up to Armageddon. Israel has somehow returned to Jerusalem and the antichrist gathers his armies to attack Jerusalem. Instead of destroying the city with a huge weapons-barrage of some sort, the antichrist commences taking Jerusalem bit by bit. He clearly doesn’t wish to destroy the city too badly for it will still be his intention to sit in the temple and force Israel to worship him. He manages to capture half of the city, taking half of the population captive.  
Zechariah 14:2For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

But then, just when the antichrist would be thinking that he’s finally going to get Israel worshipping him as their god, Christ the Messiah returns and destroys the antichrist’s armies.
Zechariah 14:3, 123Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
12And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
(It does sound like the symptoms of nuclear warfare!)

Revelation 19:19-2119And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

But where does the antichrist come from? In fact, Daniel 9:26-27 gives us some of the answer.
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. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (Daniel 9:26b-27a)
The people who would destroy the city and sanctuary were the Romans who destroyed Jerusalem and its temple in 70 AD. The antichrist is “the prince that shall come” and he will be from that people, the Romans. The Roman empire was in power during Jesus’ day, and Daniel prophesies (in Daniel 2:40-43) the Roman empire and then a ten-nation revived Roman empire in latter days (represented by the toes of the huge image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream). Therefore the antichrist is likely to come from a revived Roman empire (today most likely represented by Europe).

Revelation 13:1 (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.) describes the antichrist (the beast) as having 7 heads and 10 horns with 10 crowns, referring to the ten nations that put him into power (Revelation 17:12-13). Also see Daniel 7:7-8 & 19-21 which also refer to this antichrist/beast.

Daniel 9:27 (And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week) does mention one more important fact about the antichrist. The antichrist will make a defence pact with Israel at the beginning of this 7-year tribulation period. It will come as a result of Israel being attacked by a confederation of muslim nations plus Russia from the north (Ezekiel 38). God will cause this huge army to attack Israel (“And I will … put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine armyEzekiel 38:4). This will draw the antichrist (probably a European leader) to Israel to effectively save them, and to be seen as a type of saviour to them. This is what brings the antichrist into part-controlling Israel. We could be heading into that war of Ezekiel 38 right now.

The one thing that the antichrist desires above all is to be worshipped as god by God’s people Israel. And this is the one thing God completely denies him having. If the antichrist cannot be worshipped by Israel, then he will destroy them, but God denies him this also; Israel will be victorious at the end, and they will be God’s people and He will be their God!

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