Time or Eternity? ™

The Anti-Christ

In Anti-Christ, Apostacy, demonisim, The Last Days on December 7, 2011 at 8:00 am

In Revelation,the anti-Christ is represented as the beast with ten horns which rises out of the sea (Rev. 13: 1-8). This beast of Rev. 13: 1-8 is the same one that is referred to in Rev. 17:3, 7-18, and is evidently identical with the beast of Dan. 7: 7, and seems, in the first place, to designate some antichristian world-power, either political or spiritual,—a view which does not however, exclude the notion that this power may finally culminate in one king, the eighth, the personal Antichrist, which John also describes as “the beast”, which ” goeth into perdition “ (Rev. 17: 11), recalling the language of 2 Thess. 2:3. At all times there have been many antichrists (opposers of Christ) in the world; but according to Paul (2 Thess. 2: 3-10), all the antichristian and Satanic powers will at last be concentrated in a single human being.

If we closely follow all the features drawn in Scripture, the Antichrist of the last times combines within himself also the marks of a worldly tyrant, after the pattern of Antiochus Epiphanes, a ruler who founds a secular kingdom. He is called “the adversary” (of Christ), “the man of sin “, “the wicked one”, “the lawless one “, because he exalts himself above all law, whether human or divine. His appearance is marked by Satanic signs and wonders. He denies that Christ is come in the flesh (1 John 4: 2, 3) exalts himself above all that is called God, or the worship of God, and gives out that he is God (2 Thess. 2: 4). The ally of antichrist is the false prophet, who is described in the Book of Revelation as the beast out of the earth (i. e. the ordered, cultivated world, in opposition to the beast out of the sea, nations in a state of turbulence). The false prophet, or the beast out of the earth (Rev. 13: 18), is like a lamb in appearance, but speaks like a dragon, speaks poisonous, seductive and deceitful words, brings forward such proofs against the Christian faith, that, if it were possible, the very elect would be deceived, and think that Christianity had been but a dream which Christendom had dreamed through a series of centuries, but from which it had now awakened.

Then will great tribulations befall believers, since all who do not receive the mark of the beast and pay homage to the antichristian world-power, must suffer martyrdom, while the multitudes live in worldliness and security. All who have any degree of skill in placing the signs of the times in the light of God’s Word, will not mistake the fact that those elements are more and more showing themselves from which the false prophet is to be developed; atheistic, materialistic systems, denying God and the existence of spirit, and based upon a purely physical view of existence; a literature, which by its poetry, fictions and romances diffuses the gospel of the flesh among the masses, and upsets all moral notions. Nor can the political state of the times be misunderstood, especially the prevailing tendency to banish Christianity from public life and from the public schools, to undermine all authority, and to break with all historical traditions.

But his ascendency will be of short duration, only “until a time and times and the dividing of a time,” generally understood, from comparison of prophetic statements of time, to mean three years and a half—a brief period, no doubt. In the height of his Satanic power and false pretensions and God-defying arrogance, and when his adherents “ shall say, Peace and safety, sudden destruction shall come.” (1 Thess. 5 : 3.) The Lord Jesus will appear, “coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory,” and ” will consume him with the breath of his mouth, and will destroy him with the brightness of his coming.” This will be the end, the closing event of the present aeon. Then will begin” the times of restoration,” “and the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High.” (Dan. 7 : 27 ; Rev. 20 : 4.)

The Apostle Paul has told us (2 Thess. 2: 6) that antichrist cannot come till a power, not further defined by the apostle, but a hindering power, well known to his readers of those days, be taken out of the way.  The believing Church is directed, during this whole period of tribulation and continuance of the antichristian government, to the words: “Here is the patience and the faith of the saints” (Rev. 13: 10). The parable of ” the wise and foolish virgins” (Matt. 25: 1-13) will then be fulfilled in the widest sense. While the Lord delays his coming, while believers are surrounded by the material powers of persecution and the spiritual delusions of the false prophet, they are tempted to become spiritually faint and weary, and to slumber and sleep, with lamps burnt down and going out. The great thing for us to do is to adhere to the prophetic word, and to take heed thereto, as to a light shining in a dark place (2 Pet. 1: 19), which has faithfully told us of all these things before, that they may not overtake us unprepared.

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