The 35 Most Asked Prophecy Questions – Program 6
| September 23, 2013 |
|By: Dr. Renald Showers; ©1995|
|As Daniel’s vision continues, we learn about a man who will rise in the future and attempt to take the place of God – The Antichrist.|
Daniel’s Vision – Continued
- Showers: We looked in our last session at Daniel 7, a prophetic vision that God gave to Daniel in which the Lord was indicating that sometime in the future there would be a revived form of the Roman Empire. And we expressed our conviction, understanding to the effect that is the direction that the Common Market or as it is now known, the European Union, is heading in Western Europe. But as Daniel was considering the ten horns that appeared in this vision, the ten horns representing the ten equal rulers with the ten divisions of the revived Roman Empire, he made this statement in Daniel 7:8: “I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn.” So this is an eleventh horn. “Before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots. And, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth speaking great things.”
- Daniel said that as he was watching the ten horns that were already on the head of this fourth beast, that after a while, there was an eleventh horn that began pushing its way up through the head of this fourth animal and as it pushed its way up through the head of that animal, it uprooted three of the original ten horns that were there. Now, in light of the fact that the original ten horns were interpreted by an interpreting angel as representing ten kings or rulers, it’s obvious this eleventh horn is also representing a ruler who will rise to power from within this Western European revived Roman Empire or of the European Union after that revived Roman Empire has already been established and functioning for some undisclosed period of time with ten equal rulers. And it’s indicating that as he rises to power, he will overthrow three of the original ten rulers and thereby gain controlling authority over this Western European revived Roman Empire.
- Now, we’re told here that this little horn had eyes like the eyes of man. Again, this is a vision and we have symbols but symbols of real things. In the Bible, eyes are used symbolically for intelligence. The implication is, this eleventh ruler will be a very intelligent man. Apparently, he will be noted in the world for his brilliance and perhaps his ability to tackle difficult world problems and come up with very plausible solutions for those world problems and thereby gain tremendous influence in the world. But we’re also told that he has a mouth speaking great things.
- Now, in order to see what the interpreting angel had to say about this eleventh horn, we look again at Daniel 7:24, where the angel said to Daniel, “And the ten horns of this kingdom,” of this Roman kingdom, “are ten kings that shall arise and another”—in other words, an eleventh one—“shall rise after them, and he shall be diverse (or different) from the first.” How will he be different from the first ten rulers? Well, the first ten rulers of the revived Roman Empire will be content to be equal in authority with each other. But not this eleventh ruler. He will not be content to share equal rule with other men. This man will want to be the dominant ruler of the revived Roman Empire.
- So the angel says at the end of verse 24, “He shall subdue three kings.” He’ll overthrow three of the ten and thereby gain controlling power of the revived Roman Empire. What about the mouth “speaking great things” that we’re told in verse 8? Here’s what the angel says about that in verse 25: “And he shall speak great words against the Most High.” Now, in the Book of Daniel, “the Most High” is a reference to the God of Israel, the true and the living God who created the universe and is Sovereign Lord over the entire universe. The Hebrew language literally says of this eleventh ruler that “he shall speak words at the side of the Most High.” In other words, on a equal level with the Most High, the implication being that once this ruler of the future revived Roman Empire of Western Europe comes to full power, he’s going to, by what he claims about himself, he will try to raise himself to the level of absolute Deity, to the level of the true and the living God.
- Keeping my finger here in Daniel 7, I’m going over to Daniel 11 where this same man is described, and in verse 36 we’re told, “He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god and shall speak marvelous things”—literally monstrous things—”against the God of Gods.” Notice, he’s going to try to exalt and magnify himself above every God even including the true and the living God.
- In 2 Thessalonians 2 the Apostle Paul talks about this same man and he calls him “the man of sin” or literally, “the man of lawlessness.” And in 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul at the end of that verse says, “The man of sin will be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he as God, sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” Paul is indicating here that when this man comes to full power, he is going to walk into a new temple that the people of Israel will have built in Jerusalem by that time and he’s going to take control of that temple, and when he does that, he’s going to make the bold claim that he is the God of this universe. And the Scriptures make it very clear that people who reject his claim to be God and who refuse to worship him as God, he’s going to wage all-out war against them.
- And so in light of that, when we come back to Daniel 7:25, the next thing the angel said this man will do is this: “He shall wear out the saints of the Most High.” In other words, he’s going to wage all-out war against people who are true believers in Jesus Christ during the seven-year Tribulation period. This will be many people saved during this seven-year Tribulation period. Revelation 7 makes that very clear where John saw 144,000 Jewish men who will get saved during the Tribulation period plus John saw “a great multitude from every tongue, tribe and nation” on the face of the earth who will be washed in the blood of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus, during the Tribulation period. Many people will get saved during that seven-year period of time and those Tribulation saints will refuse to acknowledge that Antichrist is God, will refuse to worship him, and as a result, he will wage all-out war against those Tribulation saints.
- Interestingly, this same man is described for us again in Revelation 13 where he is presented as a “beast who comes out of the sea.” And this is what we’re told about him, that the beast was worshipped, verse 4: “They worshipped the dragon (who is Satan) which gave power unto the beast (the Antichrist), and they worshipped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’ And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies and power was given unto him to continue for forty and two months. He opened his mouth in blasphemy against God to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle and them that dwell in them and it was given unto him to make war with the saints and overcome them; and power was given him over all kindreds and tongues and nations and all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
- Tribulation saints will not go along with the masses of people in the world who will worship the Antichrist. Tribulation saints will refuse to worship him as God and so he’s going to wage all-out war against those saints and passages in Revelation make it very clear that Tribulation saints will be martyred by the Antichrist. Revelation 20, verses 4 and 5, make that very clear, for example, that many of these Tribulation saints will be put to death by Antichrist and his forces.
- But then coming back to Daniel 7:25 again, the angel told Daniel that this man would also think to change times and laws. Now, we’re not told how he will do that, but let me point out, “times and laws,” time periods and laws, such as natural laws, spiritual laws, etc., are things that were established and ordained by God to bring order into the life of man here on planet earth and apparently as this man, Antichrist—by the way, John calls him the Antichrist in 1 John 2—“as this man, the Antichrist, the future ruler of the revived Roman Empire of Western Europe, claims that he is God, he’s going to try to usurp priorities that belong exclusively to the true and the living God and try to change time periods and laws different from the way God had established them in order to demonstrate the fact that he is Deity. This man is going to be a tyrant, an absolute dictator.
- Now, interestingly, the Canadian documentary on the future of Western Europe with the European Union, as they interviewed some of the European leaders, some of them expressed concern about the direction that Europe is setting right now with the Common Market of the European Union. Some of them said it is definitely a shift away from democracy. Because they claim that all the decisions that will affect the whole future of Europe and the hundreds of millions of people living there are being made by a small handful of people that make up the European Community Commission. And they said, “If you have just a small handful of people making all the decisions for hundreds of millions of people, that is not democracy.”
- Margaret Thatcher, who was still the Prime Minister of Great Britain when this Canadian documentary was made, said, “Isn’t it ironic that at the same time the Eastern Bloc nations of Europe which have been under the heel of dictatorship for over 40 years are now beginning to break away from that and trying to move in the direction of some form of democracy, that at the same time, the Western European nations which have enjoyed democracy since the end of World War II are now beginning to shift away from democracy in another direction?”
- U.S. News & World Report about two years ago, when Europe was celebrating VE Day, invasion by the Allies against the Nazis in Europe, when President Clinton went there to represent our nation at that celebration, U.S. News & World Report said, “When President Clinton arrives in Western Europe, he’s going to see that the people of Western Europe are becoming increasingly disillusioned with democracy.”
- One of the Western European leaders interviewed in the Canadian documentary made this statement about this shift away from democracy in the European Union. He said, “I am shocked and afraid.” Jacques Delors, the President of the European Community Commission, the decision-making body, in a public television speech in Europe made this statement: “Western Europe must have one political executive to make decisions and fight for the policies of its union.” One political executive. The man who established the telemarketing system here in America lived and studied in Western Europe for a number of years, and he has made the statement in an editorial in his telemarketing magazine several years ago that in order for the European Union system to operating effectively, Europe must have one ruler, only one overall ruler to hold that system together and they could operate.”
- And God, some 2500 years ago, through this prophecy that He gave to Daniel and other prophets, made it very clear that’s exactly what Western Europe is going to get. When the European Union has been functioning for a period of time with ten equal rulers and ten divisions, there will be an eleventh ruler that will rise to power within that European Union, that revived Roman Empire, gain control of it, but he’s going to be energized and dominated by Satan. He’s going to be an absolute dictator. He’s going to be a tyrant. He will demand that he have his own way and anyone who rejects his claim to be God, he will try to put to death. You see, this again demonstrates there is a true and a living God, that He knows the end from the beginning, and some 2500 years ago He could foretell these things that are going to take place as we move into the end times. And it looks as if the world is very quickly moving in this direction, even in Western Europe at this time in which we are now living.
- We’ve been talking about the future Antichrist and we’ve seen on the basis of Daniel 7 that he will rise to power from within the future revived Roman Empire, or as we expressed a conviction, the direction that the Western Europe nations are heading right now with the Common Market or European Union. There’s a very significant prophetic passage in Daniel 11 that sheds a lot more light on this man and particularly, significant world events that are going to impact him. In chapter 11, verses 36 to 39, we have the character of the Antichrist being portrayed, and the first thing we’re told in verse 36 is that “he will do according to his will,” indicating that once this man comes to power, he’s going to be a strong-willed individual; he will demand that he have his own way; he will not tolerate anyone else being in authority over him telling him what he may do and what he may not do.
- The next thing we’re told about his character is that he will oppose all established forms of worship. For example, near the middle of verse 36, we’re told that he shall speak marvelous, literally monstrous things, against the God of Gods. We noted in earlier sessions, he’ll be a blasphemer against the true and the living God, and that’s what is being declared here. Verse 37, “Neither shall he regard the god of his fathers.” Now, some have concluded that this indicates the Antichrist will be a Jew because, you know, the Jews talked about the God of their fathers, their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Maybe he will be a Jew but I’m not convinced we can conclude that on the basis of this one statement. The reason I say that is, the word translated “god” in the expression “god of his fathers” has a pluralized ending so it could also be translated “the gods of his fathers.” The point here is this, not whether he is a Jew or Gentile but the fact that this man will oppose the worship of any god or gods that his ancestors revered and worshipped.
- Then we’re told that “he will have no regard for the desire of women,” middle of verse 37. Now, many have taken that to mean this man will be a bachelor; that he will not experience a man’s normal physical desire toward a woman. But I’m not convinced that by “desire of women” it’s referring to a man’s normal physical desire toward a woman. Let me explain to you why I say that. Right before the expression “the desire of women” the text is talking about objects of worship. He’ll have no regard for the god or gods of his fathers. Right after the expression “the desire of women” it says, “nor regard any god.” The whole context surrounding “the desire of women” is talking about object of worship. In light of that, it appears “desire of women” is referring to an object of worship. What could it be? Well, historically, it was the supreme desire of many Jewish women to be the mother of the Messiah, and because of that, the Messiah historically was also known as “the desire of women.” And so I take it what this is saying it, this Antichrist will have no respect, regard whatsoever for the true Messiah, the Lord Jesus. He will oppose everything that Jesus is or that Jesus has done or that Jesus stands for. That’s why John in 1 John 2 calls him “anti Christ.”
- Then we’re told at the end of verse 37 why he will oppose all established forms of worship. “He shall magnify himself above all.” He’s going to try to magnify himself above every god or goddess that’s ever been worshipped by mankind. And we saw earlier in 2 Thessalonians 2 that Paul indicates that Antichrist, when he’s at the peak of his power, will take control of a new Jewish temple in Jerusalem and will set himself up there as God.
- Verse 38 of Daniel 11 tells us that he himself will have a god whom he will worship. We’re told in verse 38, “But in his estate shall he honor the god of forces,” literally the “god of munitions or armaments.” The point is, this man is going to make war his god. Whatever man is totally sold out to and devoted to, whatever is the center of his life and drives and motivates him is that man’s god, and war is going to be the Antichrist’s god. He’s going to try to conquer the whole world and bring it under his dominion on behalf of his master, Satan. And we’re told here that’s a god whom “his fathers knew not.” His ancestors didn’t make war their god. And we’re also told in verse 38 that he shall honor this god “with gold, silver, with precious stones and precious things.” Apparently, he will expend huge amounts of wealth in equipping, training, preparing and then marching his armies out across the landscape of planet earth and that’s how he will honor his god of war. And it would appear that he will enjoy a great deal of military success because verse 39 says, “Thus shall he do in the most strongholds with a strange god.” The idea seems to be making war his god, he will be successful in conquering some of the strongest military outposts on the face of the earth.
- And then verse 39 says, “Whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory.” Now, the Hebrew text gives the idea that he shall honor those who acknowledge him. In other words, he will reward his most devoted followers. And the end of verse 39 tells us two ways he shall reward them. First, “he shall cause them to rule over many.” As the Antichrist conquers new groups of people, he will turn over the rule of those newly conquered peoples to some of his most devoted followers. In other words, he will put some of his most devoted followers into positions of rule within his government. And the second way that he will reward them is, “he shall divide the land.” As he conquers new geographical territory, he shall turn over choice pieces of land as gifts to his most devoted followers as rewards for being so devoted to him. Very interesting insight into the character of the coming Antichrist.
- But when we come to verses 40 through 45 of Daniel 11, we have the military career of the Antichrist being revealed. Verse 40 says, “And at the time of the end”—this is going to be in the future Tribulation—”shall the king of the south push at him, and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind with chariots, with horsemen and with many ships.” Who is the “him” of verse 40? Well, in light of the fact that it’s the Antichrist that’s just been described in the immediately preceding verses, it’s obvious that the “him” of verse 40 is the Antichrist. So that Daniel is being told in verse 40 that at the time of the end, Antichrist will be attacked militarily by the king of the south and the king of the north. But who are the king of the south and the king of the north in verse 40? Thankfully, verses 2 through 35 of Daniel 11 have already been fulfilled historically. In fact, they were fulfilled even before the first coming of Christ. In light of that historic fulfillment it’s interesting to note that the king of the south and the king of the north are referred to several times in verses 2 through 35. So we know who they were in that passage. The king of the south in those verses was always the nation of Egypt, directly south of Israel. And the king of the north in verses 2 through 35 was always the nation of Syria, directly north of Israel, the same Syria and Egypt that are in the Middle East today and that sometimes cause problems for Israel.
- And so that’s past history, verses 2 through 35; but here, the king of the south and the king of the north are referred to again in verse 40 which has not yet been fulfilled and since Daniel is not told these are different from the king of the south and the king of the north of verses 2 through 35, we can draw the conclusion they are still the same two nations. Therefore, what Daniel is being told here by God in verse 40 was this: that in the future Tribulation period, Antichrist will be attacked jointly by Egypt and Syria at the same time. But that revelation poses a problem. How will they attack Antichrist? At this time, our understanding is, Antichrist will be headquartered over in Western Europe as the head of the Western European revived Roman Empire, and as you know, Syria and Egypt are two Middle Eastern nations. If they’re in the Middle East and he’s in Europe, how will they attack him? I want to make a proposal to you as to how this could happen.
- According to Daniel 9:27, at the very beginning of the seven-year Tribulation, Antichrist is going to confirm a covenant with the nation of Israel in the Middle East. Now, the Hebrew language of Daniel 9:27 makes it very clear that this will be a strong, binding covenant. The implication seems to be that through the confirming of that covenant, Antichrist will so strongly bind the nation of Israel in the Middle East to its Western European revived Roman Empire, that he will actually regard Israel as an extension of himself and his revived Roman Empire in the Middle East. And therefore, any attack against Israel will be an attack against him. In light of that, I would propose that the way in which Syria and Egypt will jointly attack the Antichrist is by those two Middle Eastern nations jointly attacking his Middle East ally, Israel, at the same time. Syria, coming down from the north against Israel, while Egypt comes up from the south against Israel in a pincher type military movement. How will Antichrist while over in Western Europe react when he receives news to the fact that his Middle Eastern ally, Israel, has been jointly attacked by Syria and Egypt?
- At the end of verse 40 we’re told this: “and he shall enter into the countries and shall overflow and pass over.” Keeping his covenant commitment to Israel, Antichrist will move his Western European armies into the Middle East and will begin overflowing the nations of the Middle East. Now, when you begin reading at the end of verse 40 and you read down through verse 43, it becomes obvious that once he invades the Middle East, his movements will be from north of Israel to south of Israel. Apparently, he will invade Syria north of Israel first and other peoples probably around there—probably Lebanon as well—and take control of them. But then, verse 41 says, “He shall enter also into the glorious land.” Obviously to Daniel, the “glorious land” is the land of Israel. After Antichrist has finished his conquest of Syria in the north, he will march his Western European army south through the land of Israel. And we’re told that “many shall be overthrown, but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom and Moab and the chief of the children of Ammon.” In Daniel’s day, Edom, Moab and Ammon were nations located due east of Israel right across the Jordan River.
- Today that is the nation of Jordan. The implication is, that when Antichrist marches his army south through Israel, he is so anxious to get down to Egypt, the other enemy that attacked his ally, Israel, that he won’t take the time to cross east of the Jordan River to take control of the nation of Jordan. And he will get down to Israel. We are told in verse 42, “He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries and the land of Egypt shall not escape, but he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver and over all the precious things of Egypt, and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.” What this is saying is, he will get to Egypt and he will be able to conquer the entire nation of Egypt. When it is says here “the Libyans will be at his steps,” literally at his heels, the point is, he will conquer Egypt clear over to its western border with Libya and stop there and turn around so that when he turns around, the Libyans will be at his back, at his heels, and then he will conquer Egypt as far south as you can go to its border with its southern neighbor, so that when he turns around, that southern neighbor of Egypt will be at his heels as well. This is God’s way of saying, the Antichrist will be able to conquer the entire nation of Egypt, and it will look as if the whole Middle East is going to come under this Western European ruler’s control.
- But look at the contrast word that begins verse 44: “But…” In other words, in contrast to the way it will appear, “tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him.” What will be the substance of this disturbing news from the north and from the east that Antichrist will receive while he’s down in Egypt taking a spoil of the resources of the nation of Egypt? We noted in earlier session a prophecy that God gave to the Prophet Ezekiel in chapter 38 of Ezekiel to the effect that during the first half of the Tribulation period, Israel will be jointly attacked by Islamic nations and Russia, Russia leading this multi-nation attack against Israel. We saw there that Russia is going to come from the north against Israel. We also saw that one of the Islamic nations that is going to attack will be Iran and Iran is due east of Israel. I would propose to you that the disturbing news that Antichrist will hear while down in Egypt is to the effect that his ally Israel has been attacked again, this time by the joint forces of Islamic nations and Russia—Ezekiel 38.
- In Daniel, verse 44, Antichrist will receive disturbing news down in Egypt, disturbing news from the north and from the east. And we’ve noted that Russia and Iran are going to come together with other nations against Israel in the first half of the Tribulation period—Russia from the north, Iran from the east—and it would appear that’s the disturbing news that Antichrist will hear when he’s in Egypt. How will he react to this disturbing news? In the middle of verse 44 of Daniel 11 we are told, “Therefore, he will go forth with great fury to destroy and utterly to make away many.” In other words, keeping his covenant commitment to Israel, he will rush his Western European armies north out of Egypt to the land of Israel with the goal of trying to totally destroy the invading armies of Russia, Iran and other Islamic nations. But if you know the Ezekiel prophecy, Ezekiel 38 and 39, God makes it very clear that in the day that Russia, Iran and other Islamic nations attack Israel, God says, “Then my fury will come up in my face,” and God indicates that He will intervene supernaturally, through supernatural means, and God will supernaturally wipe out these massive armies of Russia, Iran and other Islamic nations. Read Ezekiel 38 and 39 where that is made very clear.
- The end result is that by the time Antichrist gets up to Israel, the armies of these other invaders have already been wiped out supernaturally, and that will give the Antichrist a free hand to do what he wants in the Middle East. And so notice what he will do in verse 45 of Daniel 11: “And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain.” He, once he gains control of the Middle East, will decide to plant his palace, in other words, his headquarters for what he hopes will become the capital of a worldwide kingdom, he’s going to plant it there in the Middle East between two seas. That would be between the Dead Sea on the east and the Mediterranean Sea on the west, and that palace between the seas will be in the glorious holy mountain. The glorious holy mountain to Daniel would be Mount Zion where the Temple stood in Old Testament times. In other words, once Antichrist gains complete control in the Middle East, he’s going to make Jerusalem the capital of what he hopes will become his worldwide kingdom.
- And it’s my understanding that at this point that the world will come to the exact middle of the seven-year Tribulation period and it’s at this point that what Paul described in 2 Peter 2:4 will take place. Now that he has complete control of Jerusalem, Antichrist will walk into a new temple that the people of Israel will have built there by that time and according to Daniel 9:27 he will put a stop to sacrifices and offerings that the Jews will have reinstituted there in their temple by that time. And then Paul says “he will take his seat in the temple of God, making himself out to be God.” He will claim that he’s absolute deity. I would not be surprised that he will try to claim the credit for the supernatural destruction of the armies of Iran and Russia and their Islamic allies and say to the world, “Look at what I was able to do without using one man-made weapon. It’s obvious these massive armies have been destroyed supernaturally. This demonstrates I’m more than a man. I am supernatural. I am God. And you either worship me as God, or I try to put you to death.” And according to Daniel 9:27, when Antichrist does that, that’s when Israel will begin to be desolated worse than it’s ever been desolated in all of past history. And that’s when Antichrist now will turn against Israel and the man that Israel thought would be its great protector in the Tribulation period will end up becoming its great attacker and he will go after Israel with a vengeance and try to annihilate it from the face of the earth because his master Satan wants Israel annihilated before it can repent so that God will not crush Satan and his forces and get rid of them from planet earth altogether.
- Now, it’s interesting, right after chapter 11 of Daniel in verse 45 we are told in chapter 12, verse 1 of Daniel, “And at that time.” At what time? The time that Antichrist will take control of Jerusalem in the middle of the Tribulation and claim that he is God, “At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people, and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time.” What God is revealing is this. When Antichrist makes that claim to be God, Michael, the great Archangel whom God has assigned to the nation of Israel to prevent that nation from being fully annihilated from the face of the earth, Michael is going to have to stand up and go into all-out action. And the reason is because Antichrist and other satanic forces are going to go after Israel now throughout the entire second half of the seven-year Tribulation period, they’ll go after Israel with a vengeance trying to annihilate them from the face of the earth, and Michael is going to have to go into all-out action to prevent Israel from being totally annihilated from the face of the earth. And this passage is saying, that is going to be the unparalleled time of trouble in all of world history.
- In light of that, Jesus made some very significant statements in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 24. Speaking to Jews who will be living in the land of Israel, at the middle of the Tribulation period, this is what Jesus said, Matthew 24:15: “When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet”—Jesus going back to Daniel 9:27—”When you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet stand in the holy place.” Israel’s holy place would be the temple. What He’s referring to is an image of the Antichrist that Antichrist will set up in that Jewish temple in Jerusalem claiming that he’s God, and so Jesus is saying when you see that abominable, detestable thing, an image of a man, the Antichrist, standing in your holy place, your temple, claiming that the man represented by that image is God, Jesus said, this is what you Jews had better do. Verse 16: “Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains.” Get out into the mountain wilderness. “Let him which is on a housetop not come down to take anything out of his house. Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. Woe until them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days! But pray that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day.”
- What He’s saying to Jews who will be living in the land of Israel at that time, when that image of the Antichrist goes up in your new temple and the Antichrist claims that he’s God, you drop everything, no matter what you’re doing, drop everything and run from where you are. Get out into the mountain wilderness to hide out as fast as you can. And then He told them why they should do that. Verse 21—and here He practically quotes Daniel 12:1—”For then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake, those days will be shortened.” Jesus indicating when Antichrist announces he’s God in the middle of the Tribulation period, that will begin the Great Tribulation, the unparalleled period of time in all of world history. It’ll be so disastrous here on planet earth that if God hadn’t determined ahead of time to cut it off after another 3-1/2 years, all flesh would perish from planet earth. The second 3-1/2 years of the Tribulation period will be that terrible.
- May I point out to you, if you are watching this program and you’ve never trusted Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as your Savior, even though He died personally for your sins on the cross, was buried bodily in the grave, and rose bodily from the dead three days later, if you’ve never trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, please heed the warning of this and other prophecies we’ve been examining. God has revealed these future events not to satisfy our curiosity about what’s going to happen, but instead to change hearts and lives right now. And God has revealed these future events to issue a warning to unbelievers that if you’re an unbeliever on the earth when Christ comes and raptures the Church out of the world, you’re going to be left here on the earth to go into this horrible Tribulation period, and you’re going to have to go through the unparalleled time of trouble on planet earth in which great masses of humanity are going to disappear from the face of the earth through horrendous judgments and you’re going to be under the tyrant rule of this Antichrist. And when he makes his claim to be God, you’re going to have to make a horrible decision. If you accept his claim to be God and worship him as God, according to 2 Thessalonians 2, that will seal your doom forever. You will not be able to get saved once you accept Antichrist’s claim to be God and worship him as God and you will spend eternity in the eternal lake of fire under the conscious torment and judgment of God forever. But if in order to escape that wrathful judgment of God you reject Antichrist’s claim to be God, then you will be subject to that man’s wrath and he will pursue you and hunt you down together with his forces and try to put you to death because you reject his claim to be God. What a horrible, horrible decision people are going to have to make at that time.
- But our understanding is that Christ is going to rapture the true believers in Himself from the earth before this seven-year Tribulation period begins. And the Bible makes it very clear that the Rapture could take place at any moment. We can’t count on any time between now and the Lord coming to Rapture the Church out of the world. And so if you’re an unbeliever, in light of these things we’ve been looking at, heed the warning from God; trust Jesus Christ as your Savior now before it may be too late for you. We cannot impress upon you strongly enough for your sake the urgency of your doing it at this time, for your sake, but also for the honor and for the glory of God.