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The Hour of Darkness No. 4. The Antichrist
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The events described in Revelation 6 to 19 all occur within a period of seven years. This year-week is known as the tribulation, and is clearly divided into two periods of 3½ years each. The first half will be characterised by intensive diplomatic and peace initiatives by the Antichrist, who will strive to exalt himself to the position of undisputed world leader. When his efforts to establish world peace fail, he will resort to an unprecedented reign of terror during the last 3½ years, and introduce the bloodiest dictatorship the world has ever seen. The hundreds of millions of victims that this reign of terror will claim, will render it the biggest human tragedy of all time.
The last part of the tribulation is called the great tribulation. This term is sometimes used to refer to the entire seven year reign of the Antichrist, but with the clear understanding that the first half will mainly consist of spiritual deception and torment, while the second half will be particularly awesome in the sense of the physical destruction of man and his natural environment.
The Four Horsemen
According to Revelation 6:1-8, the Antichrist will be revealed in a highly deceptive way as an angel of light in an effort to first mislead people, and later to extend his merciless dictatorship over them. In the first stage of his rule he will appear to the world as a global peacemaker who brings hope to a conflict-ridden and poverty-stricken world (the white horse). In a show of clever diplomacy he will deceive the people into accepting a world government as well as a universal religion in order to accomplish international unity.
When his peace initiatives and reform policy collapse after 3½ years, the Antichrist will turn to violence in order to maintain his power. He will then become a military dictator (the red horse). The next logical action will be stringent economical control and the rationing of food during the severe wars and famine in the world (the black horse). After these calamities, the only activity left for the Antichrist is his ride as the angel of death to reap as many souls as possible to join him in perdition (the pale horse).
In His prophetic discourse, Jesus Christ described a similar sequence of events that will occur during the coming tribulation period (Mt. 24:4-9):
This strategy has often been followed in the world, especially when Marxist dictatorships were introduced. Initially, people are misled under false pretences and a utopian prospect under a dynamic leader who is depicted as a messiah or prince of peace. Churches are politicised and become entangled in political ideologies that propagate political freedom and a humanistic brotherhood among all men (the white horse).
In the wake of this deception, the masses are mobilised for revolutionary action under the pretext that the existing structures must first be removed by force before the dispensation of genuine freedom and progress can dawn (the red horse). When a country becomes involved in war, its infrastructure is seriously damaged, the economy for the most part collapses, and large-scale unemployment and famine set in. The result is that food is likely to be rationed and become prohibitively expensive (the black horse). For many people their last sight in the revolution is the grim rider of the pale horse - death.
On a limited scale, the world has already been subjected to the revolutionary pattern of Revelation 6. According to 1 John 2:18, many minor antichrists have appeared on the scene: "...it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come". The Antichrist, therefore, has many forerunners. Their combined actions will culminate in the unprecedented great tribulation of the end-time. Viewed in this context, revolutions, wars and famines are an integral part of human history. Phenomena like these constantly remind us that we are not living in the thousand years of peace, but in a dispensation of struggle against evil powers. How intensive and destructive these wars, catastrophes and famines may have been, none has yet occurred that can compare with the sorrows of the coming great tribulation. Jesus said:
"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 shall be shortened" (Mt. 24:21-22 KJV).
When the apocalyptic horses of Revelation 6 are unleashed, cataclysmic events will follow in their wake. The will usher in the final revelation of the mystery of iniquity:
The White Horse
"And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals... And I looked, and behold, a white horse. And he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering, and to conquer" (Rev. 6:1-2).
At the very beginning of the tribulation period, the Lord Jesus opens the first seal in heaven and a prince of peace on a white horse suddenly appears on earth. He only has a bow in his hand, and purposely hides the arrows since his march is under the banner of peace and reconciliation. He was not able to make his entry sooner, as the presence of the true church of Christ resisted his appearance and his planned usurpation of power. Now that the Lord has taken them away, the hour of darkness has struck, introducing the Antichrist's brief period to hold sway before the appearance of the Lord to condemn him to the lake of fire.
The identity of the rider on the white horse has for many years remained a controversial subject. However, from the context it is evident that he can be nobody else than the Antichrist. It is wrong to assert that the rider of the white horse in Revelation 6 is Christ, merely because He is represented as a rider on a white horse in Revelation 19. There simply isn't proof for this assertion. Symbols often don't have fixed applications, and must therefore be interpreted in the context in which they are used. So it is that a lion in one instance symbolises Christ as the Lion from the tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5), while in another instance the devil is said to be a roaring lion seeking whom he can destroy (1 Pet. 5:8).
In the vision of Revelation 6, Jesus is seated upon the throne and He opens the book that has been sealed with seven seals. In it the judgements of God over a sinful world are described. Its purpose is to expose the sinister works of Satan after which he and his henchmen will be judged and their influence over the earth and its inhabitants will be broken. When the first four seals are opened, four horses follow one another as they are commissioned to mislead and kill people. How intensely terrible and utterly destructive their actions will be, is clearly shown in Revelation 6:
"And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth" (Rev. 6:8).
However, the entry of the Antichrist upon the world scene as the rider of the white horse will be in terms of an ideology of reconciliation, unity and global brotherhood. In a new world order, megastructures will be established for the religious, political and economic unification of all people under his personal leadership.
Unity of this nature can only be achieved if identity and fundamentalism are abandoned. In order for a universal church and a global government to be realised, the parties concerned must put all differences aside in the interest of reconciliation. Compromise will be an important requirement, as exclusiveness and the right to self-determination will have to make way for the cause of greater unity. Revelation 17:13 says that the political allies of the Antichrist will have one mind, and they will voluntarily give their power and authority to the beast. In this way he will gain universal power and consolidate the divided nations of the world into a coherent group of planetary citizens. Boundaries will be softened and even completely removed during the process of compulsory denationalisation. The utter confusion evil effects of this modern tower of Babel will soon be evident.
A similar unification process will occur in religious circles. According to the New Age Movement, the future world leader will add titles of all the world religions to his name. Collectively, he will be the Maitreya Buddha for the Buddhists, Krishna for the Hindus, the Imam Mahdi for the Muslims, the Christ for the Christians and the Messiah for the Jews. All these religions will be allowed to function for 3½ years on condition that they do not question their coexistence as partners in a universal religion.
Jesus earnestly warned the people of the last generation against this type of deceit that will, in more than one way, be practised under His name: "Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many" (Mt. 24:4-5).
Because the Antichrist's utopian policy of universal unity will be in conflict with the nature of Biblical diversity (Acts 17:26) and also threatens the uniqueness of the Christian religion (Jn. 14:6), opposition will soon arise. This reaction will open the way for further apocalyptic manifestations, in order for the satanic deception of this time to develop to its full, ferocious unfolding.
The utopian prospects pictured by the Antichrist in his peace initiatives will suddenly disappear like mist before the morning sun.
The Red Horse
"And another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword" (Rev. 6:4).
Leaders who become unstable and no longer enjoy popular support, often turn to autocratic rule and military force to secure their positions. The Antichrist will be no exception. When he discards his mask of pretended justice in the midst of the tribulation, he will gird his sword and make his appearance as the rider on the war-horse. With an iron fist he will rule the world as the most cruel and violent dictator of all times.
His religious status will at this time be promoted from world Messiah to that of God (2 Thes. 2:4), and maintained through forced worship (Rev. 13:15). His utterances will be characterised by the grossest blasphemy (Rev. 13:5-6). The Antichrist will, however, be openly rejected by Israel when he desecrates the Most Holy of the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, by having an idol of himself placed inside (Mt. 24:15). He will then launch a military campaign against them, and, much like Adolph Hitler, endeavour to eradicate the Jewish nation:
"And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation"
As a military leader the Antichrist will attain phenomenal success, and his supporters will acclaim their admiration: "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" (Rev. 13:4). He will gain victories on all the continents until his rule extends over every tribe, tongue and nation (Rev. 13:7).
The Black Horse
"And I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand" (Rev. 6:5).
The inevitable result of wars and the mobilisation of economically active manpower is the rapid depletion of a country's finances, the destruction of infrastructure, serious losses in production, and famine. In an effort to counteract these problems, the Antichrist will institute stringent economical measures. By means of internationally linked computer networks he will exercise control over the world economy. Individual freedom on how to manage financial resources will be completely eliminated and replaced by a global system of electronic funds transfer. Within the future cashless economy no person will be able to buy or sell without the consent of the Antichrist and his world government.
Because of food scarcity caused by wars, pollution, natural disasters and the over-exploitation of resources, strict rationing and control will in any event be unavoidable. The Antichrist will take advantage of this situation to further enforce his authority. Only those who acknowledge his political and religious leadership by accepting his mark and the number of his name, will be granted certain privileges. This will include the right to buy and sell, as well as eligibility for employment (Rev. 13:16-18).
The Pale Horse
"And I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him" (Rev. 6:8).
Since the Antichrist comes from the devil he will, like his father, be a murderer. He will delight himself in the death of millions of people and continue to wreak havoc in God's creation. The death of a quarter of the earth's population that he and his accomplices will cause according to Revelation 6:8, amounts to about 1,5 billion lives. This is almost 30 times more than the 52 million lives claimed by World War II indeed manslaughter on a scale never seen before.
Identity of the Antichrist
In Revelation 13:1-2 and 17:9-12 more details about the identity and character of this evil world leader are furnished. He is described as a beast with seven heads and ten horns. The seven heads are according to Revelation 17:9-10 seven kingdoms from which he originates. In Genesis, Isaiah and Daniel mention is made of these kingdoms. They are:
1. The ancient Babylonian Empire established by Nimrod.
2. The Assyrian Empire that took the ten tribes of Israel captive in the 8th century BC.
3. The neo-Babylonian Empire that conquered the kingdom of Judah in the 6th Century BC and took many of its subjects captive to Babylon.
4. The Medo-Persian Empire.
5. The Greek Empire.
6. The Roman Empire.
7. The restored Roman Empire in the tribulation period.
In Revelation 17:10, John says that during his time five of these empires had already fallen; one was existing and the seventh one was still to come. In the year 95 AD, when the book of Revelation was written, five of the empires were past that is from the ancient Babylonian to the Greek Empire. The Roman Empire ruled at the time, while the end-time empire of the beast was still future. This last empire is symbolised by the head with the ten horns.
A common characteristic of the first six empires is that all of them were hostile towards the kingdom of God on earth. Their occult practices, pantheism, immorality, the deification of their leaders, humanism, and rebellion against God, will culminate in the seventh empire of the Antichrist and descend to even greater depths of spiritual darkness and deception. The unanimity among them has its roots in mystery Babylon, the immoral mother of all the false religions. She exerted a tremendous influence upon the previous world empires, and was responsible for their wicked disposition. "The woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth" (Rev. 17:18). The same evil alliance between a world government and a false world religion will be characteristic of the empire of the beast.
The Antichrist is so closely identified with the previous world empires that he is depicted with the body of a leopard, the paws of a bear, the mouth of a lion and ten horns on his head (Rev. 13:2). These symbols agree with those in Daniel 7 where the Babylonian empire is represented as a lion, the Medo-Persian empire as a bear, the Greek empire as a leopard and the Roman empire as a ferocious beast with ten horns on its head:
The ten horns of the animal indicate a political alliance that the Antichrist will establish. In the beginning of the tribulation period, ten Mediterranean countries will join forces under the leadership of the Antichrist:
"And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet; but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are one of mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast" (Rev. 17:12-13).
Daniel says: "I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little 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 man, and a mouth speaking great things" (Dan. 7:8 KJV). Antichrist will consolidate three of the kingdoms under his personal authority, after which only eight will remain.
Another title of the Antichrist is the king of the North (Dan. 11:36-45). In Old Testament times, the king of Assyria was called the king of the North. Assyria was a large territory directly to the north and north-east of Israel. It included modern Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and parts of neighbouring countries. That the Antichrist is also called the Assyrian in Isaiah 10:20-27 and Micah 5:5-7, confirms the expectation that he will be an Assyrian Jew. Developments in Syria and Iraq, including the rebuilding of Babylon in Iraq, can in the near future create a scenario for the appearance of such a leader. He must, however, be of Jewish descent to be accepted by Israel as Messiah.
An essential part of the Antichrist's identity is his association with false religions and his inclination towards self-deification. He will weld politics and religion into a tight synthesis and present himself to the world as the redeemer of humanity. Most people will in the midst of all the confusion hail him as a messiah with supernatural powers, and corroborate his claim that he is the saviour of the world. When he achieves diplomatic successes and performs astounding signs and wonders, the "whole earth (will go) after the beast in amazement and admiration" (Rev. 13:3 AB). They will strongly refute any suggestion that he may be a false messiah.
Character of the Antichrist
The key aspects of the Antichrist's character are mentioned by Paul:
"Let no one deceive you in any way, for that day will not come except the apostasy comes first that is, unless the [predicted] great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom, who opposes and exalts himself so proudly and insolently against and over all that is called God or that is worshipped, [even to his actually] taking his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming that he himself is God... For the mystery of lawlessness that hidden principle of rebellion against constituted authority is already at work in the world, [but it is] restrained only until he who restrains is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one (the Antichrist) will be revealed" (2 Thes. 2:3-4, 7-8 AB).
The great falling away of the end-time can also be termed a rebellion against God and His kingdom on earth:
"There will be a time of great rebellion against God, and then the man of rebellion will come the son of hell" (2 Thes. 2:3 LB).
The outstanding characteristic of the Antichrist is indeed that he will be a man of rebellion. He will be an uncontrolled, wild and permissive man who will utterly reject all laws, including the laws of God. Christians will be among the victims of his rebellion:
"He will defy the Most High God, and wear down the saints with persecution, and try to change all laws, morals, and customs. God's people will be helpless in His hands for 3½ years" (Dan. 7:25 LB; see also Rev. 13:6-7).
Double standards, bribery and corruption will be the order of the day in his wicked regime. Special favours will be done for his collaborators:
"He will honour those who submit to him, appointing them to positions of authority and dividing the land to them as their reward" (Dan. 11:39 LB).
There will be no limits to the conceit and evil intentions of this dictator's perverted character. He is even called the son of death and destruction (or the son of perdition - 2 Thes. 2:3). His close companion, the false prophet, will be one of his foremost butchers and even use occult powers to achieve his purpose:
"And he was permitted to impart the breath of life into the beast's image so that the statue of the beast could actually talk, and to cause to be put to death those who would not bow down and worship the image of the beast" (Rev. 13:15 AB).
According to 2 Thes. 2:7-8, the secret power of lawlessness is already operating in the world, although it is to a certain extent restrained by the presence of the Christians who are the light of a dark world and the salt of a corrupt earth. However, in the end-time just prior to the rapture and the beginning of the tribulation period, a large number of nominal Christians (those who are not truly born again) will openly join forces with the kingdom of darkness:
"Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Tim. 4:1).
Disobedience, immorality, rebellion, and utter selfishness are manifestations of the spirit of lawlessness, and will pave the way for the revelation of the Lawless One:
"You may as well know this too, Timothy, that in the last days it is going to be very difficult to be a Christian. For people will love only themselves and their money; they will be proud and boastful, sneering at God, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful to them, and thoroughly bad. They will be hard-headed and never give in to others; they will be constant liars and trouble-makers and will think nothing of immorality. They will be rough and cruel, and sneer at those who try to be good. They will betray their friends; they will be hotheaded, puffed up with pride, and prefer good times to worshipping God. They will go to church, yes, (having a form of godliness) but they won't really believe anything they hear, Don't be taken in by people like that" (2 Tim. 3:1-5 LB).
1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
Sear with a hot iron
1) to mark by branding, to brand, branded with their own consciences 1a) whose souls are branded with the marks of sin 1b) who carry about with them the perpetual consciousness of sin 2) seared 3) in a medical sense, to cauterise, remover by cautery
We are now living in these days, and witness this tremendous falling away around us. So-called Christians are compromising and collaborating with the spirit of lawlessness by teaming up with the non-Christian religions, sharing power with the forces of anarchy, condoning the murderous acts of criminals, abandoning the Christian foundation of the state and the educational system, promoting anarchy by allowing people to break the laws of the country at will, and opening the doors of society to gambling, prostitution, pornography and all sorts of evil practices, while the traditional observing of Sunday as the day of the Lord is rapidly disappearing.
Soon the big rebel, the man of sin, the breaker of laws and moral codes, the destroyer of human lives, the blasphemer and self-declared God, will make his appearance. Are you resisting his appearance, or are you paving the way for his coming? We would like to urge Christians not to become weary in this time of trouble and unrighteousness, but to keep on resisting the evil. About this time, as well as the coming tribulation, Jesus said:
"And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved" (Mt. 24:12-13). The Living Bible says: "Sin will be rampant everywhere and will cool the love of many" (Mt. 24:12 LB).
Unprecedented extremes of the spirit of sin and lawlessness will occur during the great tribulation.
Power Bases of the Antichrist
The Antichrist's change of image and strategy in the middle of the tribulation will be so dramatic and terrifying that he will endeavour to force all people into Satanism. After he has received a deadly wound and come to life again, the devil will no longer manifest through him as prince of peace and an angel of light. He will now reveal his true nature as a power-hungry dictator who gives full expression of his propensity for blasphemy, sadism and brutal murder. He will establish a dictatorship that will be power-based on politics, religion and the control of economic resources. On each of these spheres, totalitarian control will be exercised with the main objective to reduce all people to absolute slavery. They won't be granted political rights, religious liberties or economic freedom outside the unitary structures of the new world order.
In the political sphere he will be the sole ruler of the world during the last 3½ years, and base his power on military strength. No alliance will be able to match him because he will have "power over all kindred, and tongues, and nations" (Rev. 13:7 KJV).
On the religious level, he will elevate himself from the position of messiah to that of God. According to 2 Thes. 2:4 he will set himself up above all religions and sit in the temple of God, showing himself as God. At this stage all forms of religion will be declared redundant and illegal, while places of worship will be abandoned and set on fire (Rev. 17:16). The Jewish temple service will be interrupted and forbidden (Dan. 9:27). The only alternative for people will be to worship the Antichrist and his image. Refusal to do so, will be punishable with death (Rev. 13:15). During this time, world-wide Satanism and the forced adoration of the beast will be practised under the guidance of the false prophet. The satanic triumvirate the dragon, the beast and the false prophet will act in unison.
Besides the political and religious macrostructures, a cashless world economy under the control of the Antichrist will be instituted (Rev. 13:16-18). With the use of numbers and codes, he will control a computerised system of funds transfer from a central part of the world. No person will be able to operate economically without being linked to it. To link up with the system, will have the far-reaching implication of acknowledging the Antichrist as ruler and god of this world.
A Cashless World Economy
It is important to consider the present level of technological development in terms of the possibility to institute a cashless monetary system for the world. Without complete control over economic resources, the Antichrist will hardly be able to enforce his totalitarian rule that will be aimed at the objective to effectively control the lives of people. Economic intimidation will indeed be one of his strongest weapons to ensure the loyalty of all men.
Frequent indications are given in the media that electronic control over buying and selling is an attainable goal within the near future. In the Sunday Star of 17 May 1992, the benefits of the implantation of a computer chip under a person's skin were highlighted as follows:
Power Under Your Skin New Concept Implants Chip In Your Body For Easy Access To A World Of Benefits
CHIPS THAT GET UNDER YOUR SKIN
"And he causes all.... to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads" (Revelation 13:16).
In this modern day and age, the quoted text has led cynical observers to explore the reality of Orwellian total control. They base their view on the increasing weight of numbers with which we have to live: ID, PIN, security, registration and new technologies that almost exclusively work on numbers.
Considering our acceptance of this fact, the thought arises that having just one number would be nice. But stamped on the forehead in ink? No. A much better idea would be to implant into all of us a tiny, individualised, computer chip, suggests Johan Bornman.
Why carry cards when an implant can do the trick?
Since so many domestic pets and livestock already have implanted electronic ID's oscillating inside them, it seems as if humans may be losing out on the digital bandwagon's benefits.
What technology is available? The radio frequency (RF) capsule that identifies animals is one option. These minute coils, encased in glass, are injected under the animal's skin or perhaps in your car's upholstery and emit a unique frequency (number) when scanned by a special device.
These ID numbers have been stored on a computer, which records the information you require. In the case of lost domestic animals the chip does all the talking and reveals the owner's name, address and telephone number. For recovered stolen cars a similar tale enfolds as the police scan the upholstery for an ID.
But a far better technology is that of the so-called smart card. These credit card sized plastic cards house a pin-head-sized chip with a powerful interactive memory.
Not only do they have excellent security verification features such as checking against fingerprint patterns, PIN's and voice prints, but they can store useful amounts of data in separate files. It can store details of financial transactions, one's medical and dental history, and details of residence and next of kin. Most people would agree that this could be useful. With a bit of imagination, we could replace a whole wallet of cards for cash, replace the ID book, keep a permanent medical file and be positively identified at all times.
What's more, scientists have now developed a smart-card that can be read by machines without first swiping it through a magnetic-stripe reader. Rather, it is pushed into the device or slipped into a set of electronic contact points.
If one took away the card's rectangular plastic surface-area which is merely a standard-sized carrier, the remaining tiny chip would be ideal for implanting under the human skin. Mind you, scientists would have to think hard about an implant area...
Imagine the usefulness of such a prosthesis. No more ATM and credit cards or ID books. At the supermarket check-out you would simply put your finger (or whatever area is chosen) on the reader and have your account updated...
Total ID is a far cry from a crude number on the forehead.... After all, we are dependent on our various numbers right now, so why not store them somewhere better and safer than in some secret places and on plastic cards?
The author of the above article makes the mistake to ridicule the Biblical account of total control through the allocation of numbers. He also erroneously refers to the Biblical description of a number stamped on the right hand or forehead in ink. In fact, his exposition of modern technology which enables the implantation of microchips under the skin, really confirms the following biblical statement made almost 2 000 years ago:
"And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name" (Rev. 13:16-17 KJV; emphasis added).
Unfortunately, most of the Bible translations refer to a number on the right hand or forehead. The Living Bible even says that people will be tattooed with a certain mark. However, the Greek word epi, which normally means on, is rendered in when used in combination with the genitive form of the noun. The King James Version is therefore grammatically correct in referring to a number in the right hand or forehead.
It should be mentioned here that modern technology, including electronic systems of funds transfer, is neutral no moral value is attached to it. However, when this technology becomes available to the Antichrist, he will greatly abuse it to achieve his ends. He will force people to sign an oath of allegiance to him before being awarded a number. This will involve recognising him as Messiah and eventually as God.
A practice that has always been unbiblical and therefore unacceptable to Christians, is any form of marking of the body through tattooing, or the implantation of a micro chip for that matter. In Leviticus 19:28 the Lord says: "You shall not.... print or tattoo any marks upon you" (AB). Such a practice would be an inadmissible defiling of your body that is a temple of God (1 Cor. 3:16-17). The reason for this prohibition is to deter people from having occult symbols and satanic marks put on their bodies.
Satan has a well-planned scheme to force people to enter into a contract with him in exchange for the right to buy and sell. He knows that in this materialistic world which is largely controlled by Mammon, the god of money, almost every man has a price and can therefore be 'bought', bribed or intimidated. However, it is an incredibly expensive deal that he will offer to people. Never even consider exchanging the long-term interests of your immortal soul for short-term economic benefits by accepting the devil's mark!
Philosophy of the Antichrist
The underlying philosophic principle upon which the Antichrist will base his global system of religious, political and economic governance is monism everything is one. According to Revelation 13, a divided and bellicose human race will indeed be united under the common leadership of the Antichrist:
"And all the world marvelled and followed the beast... and all who dwell on the earth will worship him" (Rev. 13:3, 8; emphasis added).
The Antichrist will create a unified world by eradicating boundaries and building bridges of agreement and common consent between the various groups. The end result will be a united class of denationalised planetary citizens. Political expression will be given to the coming New World Order by establishing a world government that will also control the world economy from an international centre. The Ecumenical Movement will lay the foundation for an alliance of world religions that will operate in close association with the world government.
The globalising of mankind will be result of a world-wide consciousness revolution. In order to obtain the condition of a changed consciousness, psycho-techniques such as transcendental meditation will be widely practised also in schools. In the ensuing mystic experience people will discover what is commonly referred to as the deeper self, the higher self or the god within.
When this state of consciousness is achieved, the meditator is linked to a mystical source of cosmic energy which enables him to develop psychic abilities such as telepathy, extrasensory perception, astral travel, self-healing, etc. During the meditational trance of a deep cosmic consciousness the person will experience feelings of tranquillity and perceive the entire cosmos as an integrated, undisturbed whole. His mental horizons accordingly become widened and from that moment onwards he sees everything as one. The natural world becomes mystical and divine. Plants, animals and humans are conceptualised as interacting parts of the same evolutionary process, and all have the same attribute of divinity that flows through them and unite them.
The higher the level of evolutionary development, the higher (or deeper) will the degree of consciousness become. A person who has been fully introduced to the hidden cosmic powers, will be a miracle-working person who knows all the secrets of the cosmos. He will be a master of wisdom who may ultimately develop to the level of the Christ.
It is believed that such a person who knows everything and is able to manipulate tremendous cosmic powers, will soon appear on earth to lead the human race into the Utopia of the New World Order (also referred to as the Age of Aquarius). This man will be the Antichrist who is described as the beast in Revelation.
Since the Antichrist is heading the spiritual hierarchy in the consciousness revolution, we must clearly realise the fact that New Age mysticism which is at present widely promoted as a neutral psycho-technique, or the unlocking of man's hidden potential, is entirely occultic and demonic in nature. It aims at preparing the whole world to worship the Antichrist and the devil:
"So they worshipped the dragon (Lucifer) who gave authority to the beast (the New Age counterfeit Christ); and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast?" (Rev. 13:4).
The warning is clear: Don't experiment with cosmic powers and beings because they belong to the domain of Satan. They are our adversaries in spiritual warfare: "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12).
Pray to the Lord for the ability of discernment between His kingdom and the kingdom of the devil. Satan and his evil spirits want to deprive you of your ability to discern and categorise things by instilling in you the idea that everything is one. On the other hand, through His Holy Spirit, God wants to give you enlightened eyes of the mind so that you can clearly distinguish two different categories of things in the universe, i.e. the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness, heaven and hell, the narrow way and the broad way, good and bad, the truth and the lie, the only true religion and all the false religions.
The different perceptions and ways of thinking emanating from these opposite ideologies may be distinguished from one another as indicated in the list below. The philosophy of the Antichrist can be better understood if it is compared with the Christian world-view, as the Antichrist offers a deceiving alternative world-view to his followers.
|Christian World-view||Antichristian World-view|
|An antithetic way of analytical thinking in which discernment is needed to be able to categorise things and to think in opposites.||A synthetic way of thinking which ignores differences and integrate all things into a larger whole. This philosophy is called holism.|
|Continued divergence to a point of eternal separation between light and darkness. Reconciliation and unity between these two poles will never be possible.||Sustained convergence until all things in the cosmos become integrated and unified. Differences and conflicting interests are ascribed to ignorance.|
|The cosmic domain of demons is prohibited. No experimentation with occult powers and extrasensory perception is allowed.||The developing of a cosmic consciousness by transcending the boundary to the supernatural, mystical world is recommended.|
|Monotheism. The Triune God is a transcendent God whose abode is in heavenly places. He must be perceived and worshipped independent from His creation. God works within man through His Holy Spirit, but remains a distinct Being who should be reverently approached in prayer.||Pantheism. God is mystical and impersonal. There is an element of divinity in the entire creation, which means that everything is god. Since all people are inherently divine, they must deepen the level of their consciousness and discover the god within themselves.|
|Man is a unique creation of God. He is distinct from the natural world and was commanded by God to subdue it and rule over all the living creatures. He is responsible to improve and protect his environment.||Man is part of the natural creation. He emerged from a unilinear line of biological evolution and thus descended from apes. He must be at one with nature, not unduly disturb it and maintain a mystical bond with it.|
|Man only has one life cycle in a human body. It is appointed for him to die once, after which the judgement follows and eternity dawns.||Man has various life cycles in which he evolves to higher forms of life. By way of reincarnation he often returns to a new life cycle on earth.|
|Humanity must realise that it is divided into two groups, i.e. the saved ones who are destined for heaven and the unsaved ones who are destined for hell. Those who are in spiritual darkness are invited to come over to the kingdom of God by being spiritually born again.||The unity of the human family must also be reflected in the religious sphere. All faiths must accept the fact that they worship the same God. One religion must therefore not be regarded as better than any of the other. Structures must be created to promote this unity.|
|Because there are religiously speaking two opposing kingdoms, each of them promised a messiah to redeem the world the true Christ and the Antichrist. A choice must be made between them.||Because the different religions emerged from the same source of cosmic wisdom, they all wait for the same cosmic Christ who will finally unite them. In anticipation of this great event they must all take hands.|
|Man is morally corrupt and spiritually dead because of the Fall. If he is not born again, he will end up in the lake of fire.||Man is inherently good and only acts badly as a result of adverse external influences. There is no devil or hell in the universe.|
|Through prayer the remission of your sins can be obtained from Jesus Christ, and the love and peace of God will flow into your heart by the work of the Holy Spirit. There is no substitute for prayer. Christian meditation is a counterfeit form of worship derived from TM.||Through a process of quiet meditation and the opening of the receptive faculties of your right-brain you can develop a deeper state of consciousness. You will then become one with the Christ within you and experience a mystical peace and tranquillity.|
|When Christians join together in corporate prayer, the Holy Spirit works in a powerful way to convict people of sin and to save their souls.||When large numbers of people meditate at the same time, cosmic energy will be released to promote peace and to save mankind.|
|Reconciliation between man and God occurs at the Cross and is based upon the substitutionary death of Jesus. Reconciliation between people is based upon the honouring of other's rights, negotiated settlements and the respecting of boundaries.||Reconciliation between people, ideologies and faiths is effected by compromise, the eradication of boundaries, and unity. Groups must relinquish their exclusivity and become open and accommodating in order to promote convergence.|
|Jesus Christ is the living Son of God who will soon come back from heaven to take his bride from this corrupt world to her heavenly abode in the new Jerusalem. After another seven years He will come back in power and majesty with His glorified church to judge the nations and to reign in His kingdom on earth.||The Antichrist is the son of perdition who will arise from the ranks of fallen man. The members of the false religions will be his bride who will reign with him from Babylon. After seven years his kingdom will suddenly be terminated and he and his followers destroyed at the coming of the King of kings.|
Destination of the Antichrist
Regarding the final destination of this arch-deceiver and tyrant, the Bible is very clear. Paul says that "the Lord will consume [him] with the breath of His mouth and destroy [him] with the brightness of His coming" (2 Thes. 2:8). Praise God, Praise God
John also mentions this encounter as one of the most important events of the day of Christ's return:
"Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Rev. 19:20).
The same fate awaits all those who have collaborated with the Antichrist, and worshipped him. There will be many of them, because the false prophet and his co-workers in the false world church will have deceived many people into worshipping the Antichrist:
"If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation, and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name" (Rev. 14:9-11 KJV).
No one can dismiss this warning lightly and think that he or she can, in the interest of political acceptability and economic survival during the great tribulation, provisionally accept the number of the Antichrist and hope to cancel it at a later stage. People who bear this mark and number on their right hand or forehead, barter their souls to the devil by acknowledging the Antichrist as head and god of this world. You may be sure that he will not allow you to escape from his grip. There is but one command in respect of the Antichrist: Resist and reject him, even at the cost of your life!