What the Antichrist will be like before God removes his restraints

This is Gordon Currie, who played the part of the Antichrist in the movie Left Behind II.

 

Most of what is given to us in Scripture about the Antichrist is during the last three and one-half years of his life, during which time God has removed his restraints to do evil, and when he is in fact revealed as the Antichrist. A good general description of him is found in Daniel 11:37-38.

And he will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all. 38 “But instead he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know; he will honor him with gold, silver, costly stones, and treasures.

Now even though this description is probably of his later life, I think, if we read between the lines, we can make some educated guesses about what kind of a person he will appear to be when the world first sees him—before God removes his restraints to do evil.

What we see here in this passage is that he is a man who loves the military and war. My guess is that he will first be in the military, and then, when he gains wide-spread popularity, he will be elected to a high government position in the European Union, and then to world leader.

If the above text speaks of his later life, this tells us that even in his government position as world leader, he is also very engaged in the military. In fact, verse 38 says that “he will honor a god of fortresses,” which means that military power is his god; and he will honor his god “with gold, silver, costly stones, and treasures.” This simply means that he will put a lot of money into financing his military.

But we cannot leave the discussion there. There is more to it than just saying that he will be very engaged in the military. I believe that even in the early part of his life, he will be possessed and controlled by demons, and they will drive him on to the point where he will be so focused on Satan’s will that he will not be able to do or think of anything else.

We are told that he will have “no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god.” Therefore, we understand that Satan’s will is all he will think of and desire. He will not think of any other god or even an attractive women.

Now keep in mind that when he first appears, though he will be possessed and focused on the devils will, he will not be so empowered by Satan to do all the evil that he will do later, such as, to magnify himself as God; for God will be restraining him (2 Thess. 2:6-7).

 

 

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5 Reasons to Talk about Prophecy — Our Journey Home

Does the study of prophecy add value to the lives of believers they could not receive apart from it? Is it worth the effort talk about our future hope despite the controversy that rages over it today? Yes, absolutely! The Lord provided us with prophecies regarding Israel, the rapture, and Second Coming throughout Scripture; the […]

via 5 Reasons to Talk about Prophecy — Our Journey Home

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The Satanic Purpose of the Coming False Religious System

 

Assuming that the coming false religious system (the harlot) will operating under the control of Satan, its purpose would fall in line with Satan’s purpose: to be free of God’s control, to always do the will of Satan, to do all things to the glory of Satan, and to build Satan’s kingdom. In order to do that, however, everything must operate opposite of God’s truth; for Satan cannot operate in the realm of truth, because that is God’s way and would be counterproductive to Satan’s purpose. Therefore, Satan’s way and the harlot’s way must be always counter to the truth; it must be to lead people away from what is true and to lead them into what is false.

Here is a list of principles that Satan and the harlot will seek to instill in people.

  • Always look out for yourself above anyone else (the opposite of what the bible teaches in Philippians 2:3-4).
  • Feeling are most important. If it feels good do it (the opposite of what the bible teaches: that we should be hearers and doers of the word of God, James 1: 22-23).
  • Love and sex are never off limits (this is contrary to the word of God; it is immoral and leads to corruption of the body and to depravity).
  • My body is my own; I have rights over my body; a women has a right to have an abortion; anyone has a right to free sex (this is the opposite of 1 Corinthians 6:15-20, that our bodies are not our own).
  • People should love all the things in the world; the world has so much to offer, as far as entertainment (this is contrary to the teaching of 1John 2:15-17).
  • Believe in yourself. Just as Satan believes that he is God, we too should believe the same. (The reference for this is in Isaiah 14:13-14. The bible teaches us that we should never exalt ourselves but to humble ourselves before God our creator, James 4:6-10.)
  • The bible is not the word of God and should not be trusted (the opposite of 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
  • People don’t need personal salvation. There is no sin, no hell, and no heaven. We have all we need on earth to keep us entertained (the opposite of Romans 3:23; 6:23).

This list of satanic principles may sound good to some. In fact, you may find many of them in the current psychology and self-help books. However, because they emphasize self and self-love, instead of love for God and love for others, these principles will ultimately lead to strife, disunity, corruption, and depravity (read Romans 1:28-31).

And why is this the case? Well, it is logical that if everyone is looking out for themselves—for their own rights and desires—there can be no unity and no true love. Ultimately, people will be fighting each other. Interestingly, in some of the great battles in history, where God’s people battled against unbelievers, God’s armies easily were victorious, because the side of evil ended up fighting against each other and killing each other (e.g. 2 Chron. 20:23). This will also be true in battles in the future (Ezek. 38:21).

Ultimately, Satan’s purpose and the harlots purpose will never be realized or have any enduring significance. Sin’s pleasures are only temporary. And, as we know, all that Satan offers is a lie and full of deception. In the end Satan, the harlot, and sin will be destroyed forever.

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Two Phases of the Destruction of Babylon – Revelation 17-18

 

As I see it, Babylon is the power base of the Harlot (which is the false religious system). And Babylon as we said in the last blog is Rome.

The destruction of the harlot comes in two phases. In the first phase, described in Revelation 17:16-17, the beast and his installed ten kings hate the harlot, and so they will cut her off and make her desolate. We don’t know what exactly that means, but you can read it for yourself…

And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. 17 For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be fulfilled.

 I take it that this desolation will happen at the midpoint of the Tribulation, which is at the point when God no longer restrains the beast to do evil (2 Thess. 2:6-7). Hence, he will at this point “take his seat in the temple of God” and declare that he is God (2 Thess. 2:3-4). Also at this point he gives his ten kings new authority (Rev. 17:12).

So with all this new satanic power that the beast and his ten kings have, they suddenly feel that they no longer need the harlot religion. As I see it, during the second half of the Tribulation the entire false religious system will no longer be connected in any way with the Antichrist. She will be made desolate and will remain that way until her complete destruction buy God. During that time of desolation, that is, during the second half of the Tribulation until the end, people are warned by a voice from heaven not to follow the harlot or take part in her sins. Here is that warning in Revelation 18:4-7.

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, that you may not participate in her sins and that you may not receive of her plagues; 5 for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6 “Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her. 7 “To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning.’

 

The second phase of the harlot’s destruction will be aimed at its power base, the city of Rome (referred to as Babylon). The time of its destruction will come right at the very end of the Tribulation, which is just before Jesus Christ comes in the clouds to judge the world. We will take a look at this destruction from Scripture, and we will also hear how evil onlookers react in contrast to how heaven and the holy ones react.

 

The destruction of the city. Here is Rome’s destruction described in the following verses (from Revelation 16, and from Revelation 18).

And Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. 20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe. (Rev. 16:19b-21)

After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. 2 And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! And she has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. 3 “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.”

8 “For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.

17 for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!’

21 And a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer. 22 “And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer; 23 and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery. 24 “And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.” (Revelation 18:1-3, 8, 17a, 21-24)

 

There is no need to comment too much on the city’s destruction. I will just say that though it is the city of Rome that is destroyed, it represents all of the evils of the harlot. God destroys in one day by fire not only the city but all of the harlot system.

The reaction of the evil onlookers (Rev. 18:9-11, 14-16-19).

“And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, 10 standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying,’ Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’ 11 “And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more;

14 “And the fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them. 15 “The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, 16 saying,’ Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls; 17 for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!’ And every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, 18 and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying,’ What city is like the great city?’ 19 “And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’

 Notice that these verses have to do with onlookers that are evil—those that “committed acts of immorality” with the harlot. They are sorry to see her end. They are devastated!

 

The reaction of heaven and the holy ones (Rev. 18:20; 19:1-4).

“Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.”

19 After these things I heard, as it were, a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,

“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; 2 because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.” 3 And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever.” 4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!”

 

I take it that in Revelation 18:20, the saints here could be believers that have survived the Tribulation. But some, and certainly those in Revelation 19:1-4, are believers that have died and gone to heaven. They are all rejoicing in God’s judgment on the evil harlot system.

 

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5 Reason why Babylon is Rome – from Revelation 18

 

I feel strongly that the center of control of the Great Harlot (Rev. 17:1) will be from the city of Rome, which is referred to in Scripture as the “great city” and “Babylon the great” (Rev. 17:18; 18:2, 10, 21).

Not everyone agrees that Rome is this city. Many think that it will be a rebuilt city of Babylon (in the same location as the old city). And there are a few other ideas as well. However, I hold to Rome for the following five reasons:

1. After the city of Babylon was destroyed in 539 B.C., the high priest of that Baal religion and his followers fled to Rome. Rome, in effect, became the second Babylon—or the same Babylon with a different name and location. As Ironside writes,

When the city and temples were destroyed, the high-priest fled with a company of initiates and their sacred vessels and images to Pergamos, where the Symbol of the serpent was set up as the emblem of the hidden wisdom.  From there, they afterwards crossed the sea and immigrated to Italy, where, they settled on the Etruscan plain.  There the ancient cult was propagated under the name of the Etruscan Mysteries and eventually Rome became the headquarters of Babylonianism.23

2. This city, called the great city, Babylon, is said by John (Rev. 18:17, 19) to be located on a sea port. Rome was such a city, located on the Mediterranean Sea; but the city of Babylon in Iraq is not located on the sea, but on the Euphrates river. Therefore, a rebuilt Babylon would not qualify as this future city.

3. This city will be the political, philosophical, and religious headquarters of the world, where the nations of the world will come, by sea, to become rich by all the wealth or all the trading goods (Rev. 18:3). Again, the city must be located at a sea port.

4. The city will be burned to the ground, destroyed in one hour, and the smoke of the city will be seen by those on ships on the sea (Rev. 18:16-19). Again, this could not be true of a Babylon in Iraq, but very possible with the city of Rome. Also, the burning of Rome in 64 AD could very well be seen as a forerunner to this last burning of the city.

5. Since the new world government will be the Revived Roman Empire, and that empire will be the EU, it seems logical that Rome will be the key city, since it is already centrally located in the EU.

 

23 Harry A. Ironside, “Babylonian Religion,” at http://www.biblelineministries.org/articles/basearch.php?action=full&mainkey=BABYLONIAN+RELIGION+%28By+Harry+A.+Ironside%29.

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The Coming Global Religion Will Be both Domineering and Motherly

 

The term “sits on,” in Revelation 17:1, 3, and 9, signifies her power and domination. In verse 2, we see that she will have power over all the nation’s kings, as well as all people who dwell on the earth. By her false doctrine, which will be a doctrine of demons, she will easily seduce and gather together all people, convincing them to except her false religion. She will have the power of a seductress over them—seducing them with all her charms and immoral ways.

In verse 3, with the term “sitting on a scarlet beast,” we see that she will even have some power over the Antichrist. But we know that he will, in fact, in the end, demonstrate that he has the greater power; nonetheless, I think she (the false religious leaders) will aid and instruct him in many things in his false kingdom.

Then in verse 9, with the term “seven mountains on which the woman sits,” we see that this false religion has had power and dominion over the world for a very long time; she has had power over seven kingdoms of the world: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and in our future it will be the Revived Roman Empire, by the Antichrist.

Now let me be clear that this power will not be by any particular gift or skill, but by the power of the devil and by the encouragement of the beast. All the harlot’s attractiveness, charm, allurement, and wisdom will be deceptive. All of her teachings will be false—all lies, designed to lure the world into Satan’s domain.

 

She is not only powerful and domineering, she is a deceptive mother figure. In Revelation 17:5 we read of the harlot,

And upon her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”

 Her title “BABYLON THE GREAT” indicates that her origin is from the ancient city of Babylon, which was the birthplace of idolatry. Hence, we must not lose this fact that the roots of this false religion is in Babylon, and it is the same religion that will continue, in full strength, after the Rapture.

The term “MOTHER” indicates that the leadership element of the false religion will act as a mother, in order to encourage all lesser leaders and the world to continue in harlotry and abominations; thus she will feed all such desires, and will instruct all eager learners.

The added term “ABOMINATIONS,” indicates the extreme evil of her harlotry. She is no ordinary mother harlot; she is deceptively evil. The term suggests outrageous, disgraceful, and shocking acts—acts of cruelty and murder, and things that are against nature. I would say that since the next verse (verse 6) speaks of the murder of the “saints” and the “witnesses of Jesus,” her abominations are related to these cruel murders.

 

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3 Aspects of the Future Harlot System that are Satanic

 

The harlot, mentioned in Revelation 17, is a false religious system. It may be assumed that it will consist of many individuals who will be possessed and controlled by demons. I suppose the top religious leaders will be the most possessed, and the lesser leaders may be less possessed. And we may also assume that to some degree they will all be deceived; for in any relationship with Satan there is always deception.

And make no mistake, the purpose and direction of the harlot system will be Satan inspired and led; and all of her actions, teachings and ways will be Satanic in nature. Here are three aspects of the harlot that I think are especially Satanic.

1. Her deceptive nature. Wherever there is deception and lies you know that it is of the devil, for he is the father of lies. The harlot system will be based on deception; for Satan, through the harlot system, would not be able to attract, gather, and convince people unless they be deceived.

2. Her cruelty and murder. In Revelation 17:6, John saw that the woman (the harlot) was “drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.” This obviously means that the harlot (the false religious system) has been, is, and will be a murderer. And I think that she will be the primary instrument of Satan to do the murder of all the believers that will be martyred for their faith (read Revelation 18:24). In the words of John MacArthur, “False religion has killed millions of believers over the centuries, and the final false system will be far more deadly than any that preceded it.”22 Yes, I think so. Just as many Christians were burned alive at the stake and as millions of Jews were gases and suffered many kinds of cruel deaths from the Nazis, in the coming days, and especially after the Rapture, Jews and believers in Christ will likewise suffer even more horrible deaths, all inspired and controlled by Satan.

3. Her immorality. It is well established that the ancient Babylonian religion was Satanic and heavily involved in immorality. Since this is the same religious system that will emerge after the Rapture, there is no doubt that immorality will be pervasive and will be used by Satan to gain his control.

Some may think of immorality as “just sex,” and harmless. However, it is more than just a physical activity when it is outside of marriage and perverted. Paul’s discussion on this topic in 1 Corinthians 6 leaves us with no doubt that it is very destructive.  It is joining oneself to a harlot and making him one flesh with her. Moreover, it is very damaging to a person emotionally, mentally, and spiritually; and it destroys ones relationship with the Lord (until it is restored again), or the possibility of a relationship. In 1 Peter 5:8, Peter tells us that our adversary the devil, “prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Immoral activity is one way that the devil uses to devour a person.

Immorality is so destructive because it tends to spread and corrupt an entire society very quickly. Look at what happened to the entire world of people before the flood. Everyone was immoral and very evil, all but Noah and his family (Gen. 6). And look at what happened to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. They all were very immoral except Lot (Gen. 18-19).

I can imagine that Satan will use immorality to try to pervert and control the entire world after the Rapture and into the 7-year Tribulation period. If it wasn’t for the 7-year time limit, for God’s wrath on unbelievers, and for His righteous grace toward His elect, the entire world will definitely be devoured by the devil.

 

22 John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible (Nashville, London, Vancouver, Melbourne: Word Publishing, 1997), John MacArthur’s notes of Revelation 17:6.

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