God warned us in the Bible that the earth will be filled with evil in the last days of this age. Jesus told His disciples that when He returns to this earth it will be “…as it was in the days of Noah…” (Luke 17:26). Genesis 6:5 details the degree of evil prevalent during “the days of Noah”:
“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5, NKJV).
The prophetic books of Daniel and Revelation teach us that in the last days of this age, human government will be under the control of Satan. Sin is rapidly increasing everywhere. Wouldn’t you agree? There is still, however, a power that is resisting and restraining evil in our world. That power comes from the Holy Spirit Who resides within each believer, and there are millions of believers throughout the world.
When the light is removed, darkness prevails.
This current age, the Church age, will end when Jesus appears in the air and calls up to meet Him all those who have accepted Him as their Savior from their sins. Suddenly, all believers on earth will be gone! They will be taken to heaven by the Lord! What a glorious moment that will be! (1st Thessalonians 4:13-17)
It will, however, be a dark day for the people left behind. The power that restrains sin in the world, the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians, will be gone! Without the godly influence of the Holy Spirit working through believers, the cultures of this world will quickly become even more depraved than they are now. Sin and wickedness will be everywhere. This period is known as the Tribulation, the coming time of trouble. It will last for seven years. During the Tribulation, Satan will achieve his long-time goal of ruling this world. He will rule through a world government headed up by a wicked king, the antichrist, whom God calls “the lawless one.”
“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed…” (2nd Thessalonians 2:7-8a, NKJV).
Men have been working behind the scenes for years to make a world government a reality. Although many of these men are probably not aware of it, Satan has been directing their work. The Word of God tells us that this coming world government will be headed up by the “lawless one.” He will receive his power from Satan, his throne from Satan, and his authority from Satan (Revelation 13:2).
Daniel: The key to understanding the book of Revelation.
Because God does not want us to be ignorant of the big events that are coming, He has written about them in the Bible. Friend, the key to understanding the book of Revelation, and other prophetic books in the Bible, is the book of Daniel. If you will read and study the book of Daniel, you will better understand the prophecies found in Revelation as well as other prophecies found elsewhere in Scripture. I wrote my book on Daniel, The Time of the End, to enable people to understand where this world is headed. Let’s analyze a few facts about the coming world dictator.
- This king will rise to power in Europe.
While we cannot yet know who the dictator is, because he will not be revealed until after the Rapture, we can know where he comes from. When we compare Revelation chapter thirteen with Daniel chapter seven, we learn that a federation of ten kings, or leaders, representing ten European nations will arise. Though this is the final form of the Roman Empire, these kings will give their power and authority over to the dictator, whom God calls “the beast” (Revelation 17:12-13).
- This king will make a peace agreement with Israel.
Since returning to their ancient homeland nearly 70 years ago, the Jews have had amazing success. There are still, however, two main things they long for but haven’t been able to obtain. First, they desperately want to live in peace, but the hostile neighboring countries won’t let them. Second, the Jews want to rebuild their temple on the ancient temple site in Jerusalem but, as you probably know, the Muslims in Israel and in the neighboring countries simply will not allow it. International world leaders have tried repeatedly to negotiate a mid-east peace plan. They all have failed.
The future world dictator will not fail. He will successfully negotiate a seven-year peace agreement. Everyone will think: “Wow, what a man! He’s just what we need! This man has the answers to our world problems. We all should follow him.” Unfortunately, he will break his peace agreement with the Jews three-and-one-half years later and turn against them (Daniel 9:27).
- The “Awakening” in Israel
The Bible teaches that many Jews will come to personal faith in Jesus after the Rapture. This period will be a time of awakening for thousands of Jews. How pleased the Lord will be that, at last, many Jews will accept Jesus and the sin payment He made on that Roman cross near Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. For more on the coming awakening of the Jews in Israel, see chapter 20 of my book, The End of Human History. As these Tribulation saints quickly spread the Gospel of the kingdom all around the world, multitudes of people will come to saving faith in Jesus Christ.
- This king will blaspheme God.
“Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done” (Daniel 11:36 NKJV).
What a narcissist this dictator will be! He will do whatever he wants to do. From this passage we learn that this dictator will inform the world that he is more important than any and every god. He doesn’t stop there. This king will blaspheme the one, true God. You would think that God, at this point, would strike this blasphemer dead. On the contrary, God allows him to prosper but not for long, as we will see.
- The king will persecute the Tribulation saints.
From Daniel 9:27 we learn that this future king will make a covenant with the Jews for “one week.” The Hebrew word for week there is “shabuwa,” meaning “a seven.” It can sometimes mean seven days, and at other times it can mean seven years, which is the case in Daniel 9:27. Study this subject on your own and you will see that the antichrist breaks his seven-year agreement with Israel after three-and-one-half years. Forty-two months into the agreement, this arrogant deceiver will turn against the Jews, desecrate their new temple, and block them from performing any more animal sacrifices there. Speaking of this coming event, Jesus has a message to the Tribulation saints that will be living in Israel when it takes place: “…flee to the mountains” (Matthew 24:15-20).
- The king’s days are numbered.
This arrogant king won’t know it, but from the day he turns against Israel, his authority will last for just 42 months (Revelation 13:5). Those 42 months will seem like an eternity to the Jews, in particular, and to all humanity in general, for this is the time of the great Tribulation. Read what Jesus said about this time:
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:21-22 NKJV).
- The king will demand universal worship.
Once the parties sign the peace agreement, the seven-year Tribulation period will begin. During this time, the king will receive a deadly wound but, to the surprise of everyone, it will be healed. This wicked king will then go to Jerusalem and enter the new Jewish temple (not yet built, but coming soon). With television cameras recording his movements and his words, he will make a surprise announcement. He will announce that he is putting an end to the Jewish sacrifice system in the temple. While sitting in the temple, he will tell the Jews, along with the entire world, that they are to worship him. His words will probably sound something like this:
“It is time that we forget about all those old, dead gods. Who has helped you? Me. Where are these so-called gods? Who is with you? Me. You should worship me. I make a new law this day. Everyone is to deny all other gods and is to worship me.”
We learn more about his demand to be worshipped from the pen of Paul in 2nd Thessalonians 2, and from John in Revelation 13. Would you like a great personal Bible study? Read again the truths I have shared with you, and study carefully these Scriptures:
“Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 NKJV).
“And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So, they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’ And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.
“Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:3-8 NKJV).
Jesus is coming soon, and I am glad. In the meantime, I’m going to do my best to glorify Him with my life and to introduce others to Him. Are you with me?