…a lamb or a beast. Just before the return of Christ, a man will arise, inspired not by God but by Satan (anti-god). He will be endowed with supernatural powers from the underworld to deceive those not belonging to Christ. He will become a world leader when a fatal wound is miraculously cured: “The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. Men worshiped the dragon [Satan] because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, ‘Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?’” He will bring substantial and temporary peace in the world, fueled by Satan and demons.
Paul writes, “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come [the day of the Lord] until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple proclaiming himself to be God…The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing”(2 Thess. 2:3,4,9,10).
The world, blinded by sin, will be deceived into thinking that this demon-possessed man is the answer to the world’s racial and social problems. When he proclaims himself god, humanity will believe his miracles and worship him with songs of praise.
The antichrist will exercise unilateral authority for three and a half years (Rev. 13:5). “He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast–all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world” (13:7,8). During this time of persecution, called the Great Tribulation, Christians are challenged to be “faithful unto death,” in order to win “the crown of life.”
This beast (the opposite of the Lamb, in the prophecy of Daniel) was “waging war against the saints and defeating them, until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom…He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws…But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever” (Daniel 7:21,22,25,26).
The only one able to handle the antichrist is Christ, and He will return with a militia of warring angels, any one of which who could dismantle the entire U.S. Marines. Jesus came the first time to die. He returns now to take over the earth and rule: “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming” (2 Thess. 3:8).
The end-time answer to the problems in the world will not be a large-scale turning to Christ, though we still believe for a major revival (Malachi 4:5,6), or the church gaining in power and influence. It will be the return of the glorious one on the white horse with fire in His eyes. Period! Come, Lord Jesus!