We don’t know how long the time span will be between the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation. My guess is that it will be anywhere from a few years to a decade. Some suggest that there won’t be any time at all, that immediately after the Rapture the Antichrist will sign the peace covenant and the Tribulation will begin. But I don’t know how that could be possible. There are too many things that need to happen in order for the covenant with Israel to fall into place. For example, I think it will take time for the new world government, and also, for the new global religion to be built up and installed—something that I think needs to happen before the covenant is signed.
Therefore, with these things in mind, we ought not to expect a relationship with the harlot and the man who will be Antichrist to occur immediately after the Rapture. It will take time to develop.
I would say that Revelation 17:2-3 is a key passage for showing us the relationship that the Antichrist will have with the harlot. First of all, verse 2 shows us, I think, how he will be influenced by her. I think that He, among all the world leaders, will be taken in with her false teaching, and will be very impressed. I don’t know how soon this will happen, but I would guess that it will happen to a greater and greater degree as she will be exerting more and more influence on the world.
In verse 3, we read that a woman is sitting on a scarlet beast. I take this to mean that the harlot will sit on and control the Antichrist. This will definitely happen during the first part of the Tribulation, and I think that to extent it will also happen before the Tribulation. Thus the more he is taken in and impressed with the harlot the more they will have a relationship, and she will use him to help her build the new world religion.
Yes, I think he will encourage the world to listen to and heed the teachings of the new world religion. And as time goes by, no doubt there will be more and more centers of worship where the harlot’s false teaching will go out. Just imagine if every church and mosque, and all the worship centers of all religions were converted to the new harlot religion. There will be no lack of places to go to hear her. And in addition, I imagine that the new teaching will be all over the internet and television. You won’t be able to get away from it. And since this new world leader will be strongly encouraging the new worship, I think people will be flocking to every new teaching—except, of course, the new Christians. Most of them, I think, will be able to discern that the teaching is false.
As I have pointed out earlier, since both the harlot system and the Antichrist are evil and Satan inspired, they will be looking out for only their own interests. Yet, though they will grow to hate each other, they will see the benefits of working together. Therefore, though it may appear that the harlot and the beast are unified, they will be working together only for their own purposes. Indeed, the beast will encourage people to follow the teaching of the harlot, and likewise, the harlot (the harlot leaders) will encourage people to follow and obey the beast. But only for their own ends. In fact, as soon as the Antichrist is lifted of his restraints, and as he has new Satanic powers, he will have no qualms with taking the harlot out—destroying her—because he will have no need for her anymore (Rev. 17: 16).