Forewarning the Future Fuhrer

by Daymond R. Duck

Fuhrer means "leader" and it is one of the better-known titles of Adolf Hitler, the infamous dictator of Nazi Germany. Only a few of the world's young people know much about the fuhrer, but the mere mention of his title quickly conjures up bad memories in the minds of our planet's senior citizens. It is permanently tied to the evil leader who gave us the Third Reich, the Gestapo, the Storm Troopers, the Hitler Youth, the Society of German Maidens and other despicable groups. It spurs images of World War 11: the arming of 70 million troops worldwide, the death of about 17 million troops, the death of about 20 million Soviet citizens, the death of about 10 million Chinese citizens, and so many more from other nations; no one really knows how many perished. Fuhrer or "leader" also reminds people of the swastika, goose-steping German troops, concentration camps, death camps, the ovens of Auschwitz, the bombing of England, the ruins of Europe, bitter winters in Russia, famine, fire, pestilence and large national debts. It reminds people of the depraved man who touched off the world's darkest hour. But the wicked fuhrer of WW 11 was just

a forewarning of the final fuhrer, and the disaster the first fuhrer caused will pale in comparison to what the Bible says the final fuhrer will bring in. Something often overlooked is Hitler's fascination with the dark forces of the spirit world. He exposed himself to drugs and witchcraft as a young man. It has been written that he sold his soul to Satan, surrounded himself with people who made blood oaths to the Serpent, and often credited demons with influencing his decisions. He even gave credit to demonic forces for helping him with his plan to unite Europe and with his desire to bring in a "New World Order."

Although some people do not like to acknowledge the existence of unseen evil spirits, conservative Christians have no trouble believing that the fuhrer's mass slaughter of millions of Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses, priests, preachers and others, his systematic torching of synagogues, and his less frequent burning of churches was an order from hell. It is not even hard to believe that his New World Order originated in hell. He wanted a world government, something God has always opposed because He plans to establish one for His own Son to rule over.

World War II came to an end and so did Hitler's earthly life (he killed himself). But Hitler's concept of a united Europe, his vision of a New World Order, and the Satanic influence was still around. They spread like a virus that cannot be cured and soon the whole world was infected. Concerning a united Europe, powerful individuals on that continent were soon prompted to organize committees, groups and nations. It wasn't long until they began to merge into what students of Bible prophecy call the Revived Roman Empire. Their merger-mania was motivated by a desire to recover the power and control that shifted to the United States and the former Soviet Union.

Concerning the New World Order, other men of stature were persuaded to create the United Nations. This group started out small, but it grew like a giant octopus with tentacles reaching into every corner of the earth. It is now being transformed into a powerful one-world government that wants to control even the tiniest aspects of every individual's life. And concerning the Satanic influence, religious luminaries were moved to promote cooperation among the churches, people of other religions and cults who called upon guides of darkness from the gloomy pits of hell. This unseemly cooperation produced an unholy alliance called the World Council of Churches. It also produced a vile compromising of basic Christian beliefs, and even worse, the acceptance of many false doctrines.

Some conservative Christians believe the World Council of Churches has lost its Christian identity. Many believe it is responsible for a weakening of the true church and more than a few believe it will ultimately help bring in a demonic oneworld religion. The birth of these three groups - the Revived Roman Empire, the one-world government, and the one-world religion - is the beginning of three institutions which Bible prophecies say will exist when the final fuhrer comes on the scene. They will form the backbone of a government more evil than the one started by the odious Adolf Hitler himself

This is very significant, but all Bible prophecy experts know that it would be meaningless without the appearance of a fourth party. This happened on May 14, 1948, when the nation of Israel came back into existence. The great prophet Daniel told us that the individual we are calling the final fuhrer will rise to power over the Revived Roman Empire and sign a covenant with many nations and leaders of the earth to protect Israel for seven years (Daniel 9:27). We also know that every jot and tittle of Bible prophecy must be fulfilled. And it is a most amazing thing that after hundreds of decades the Revived Roman Empire, the one-world government, the one-world religion and the nation of Israel have all arrived on the scene at the same time. This is nothing less than a forewarning of terrible things to come when viewed through the microscope of Bible predictions. It means that the stage is now set for the tribulation period, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, the mark of the beast, the Battle of Armageddon and all of those dreaded things, and for true Christians, it also means that the rapture of the church is very close, even at the door.

The Antichrist

The Bible calls the last world leader many things, but final fuhrer is not one of them. Just a few of his titles are: the king of fierce countenance, the prince that shall come, that man of sin, the son of perdition, the lawless one, the vile person, and the beast. These titles are very descriptive, but these multiple titles for referring to the final fuhrer are also more than a little bit confusing. Christians want everyone to know they are referring to the same individual, so they use a collective title. They call the final fuhrer the antichrist.

The word "antichrist" appears five times in the writings of John, but it does not appear even once in any other book of the Bible (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7). Most scholars agree that John's usage of the word implies two different meanings: 1) against the Christ, and 2) instead of the Christ. Both meanings fit the final fuhrer. The antichrist will be against the Christ; that is, he will be an enemy of the Christ, and he will try to replace the Christ; that is, he will be a false Christ.

Daniel revealed the final fuhrer's opposition to the Christ when he said the antichrist will "stand up against the Prince of princes" (Daniel 8:25). And Paul revealed the evil one's effort to replace the Christ when he said the antichrist will sit in the Temple as God "shewing himself that he is God" (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4). Many people have opposed Christ, but other than Satan, there has never been a more sinister or worthy opponent on the face of planet earth. Many false Christs have arisen and some have been noteworthy imposters, but there has never been a greater or more evil deceiver than this one.

What We Do Not Know About the Antichrist

Four things we do not know about the antichrist are the subject of much speculation. The first is his nationality. It is not hard to find writers who teach that the antichrist will be a Syrian. The Bible does not say he will come from that ancient nation, but some conclude this through reasoning that usually goes like this: "Antiochus Epiphanes was a type of the antichrist and he was a Syrian. Therefore, the antichrist will be a Syrian." The problem with this kind of reasoning is that it overlooks those individuals of other nationalities who were also a type of the antichrist. Nebuchadnezzar was a type of the antichrist and he was a Chaldean. So why not say the antichrist will be a Chaldean? Adolf Hitler was a type of the antichrist and he was a German. So why not say the antichrist will be a German? The same can be said for Pharoah, an Egyptian. We could go on and on, but the point is that this kind of reasoning does not settle the issue.

The second thing we do not know about the antichrist is whether he will be a Jew or a Gentile. Some say he will be a Jew because the Bible says, "neither shall he regard the God of his fathers" (Daniel 11:37 KJV). Others say he will be a Gentile because this verse has been incorrectly translated and it should read, "He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers" (Daniel 11:37 NIV). If the correct translation is "God," he will come from a monotheistic religion (probably Jewish); if the correct translation is "gods," he will come from a polytheistic religion (probably Gentile).

Then there are those who reason that "The antichrist will be Jewish because the Jews will accept him as their Messiah and they would never accept a Gentile." Or "The antichrist will be Jewish because he will be a counterfeit of Christ and He was a Jew. " The Reverend Jerry Falwell, whose theology is almost always very sound, got in trouble on this one. He believes the antichrist will be a Jew, and he may be right, but the fact is, whether the antichrist will be a Jew or a Gentile is not revealed in the Bible. And those who think he will be are definitely in the minority. Incidentally, one of the complaints against the Reverend Falwell has been that he is anti-Semitic for thinking like this. On the contrary, Falwell has long been one of Israel's strongest supporters and has done much to help the Jewish people.

The third thing we do not know about the antichrist is his name. We know "his number is Six hundred threescore and six," but that is different from his name (Revelation 13:18). Several elaborate systems have been developed in an effort to reveal the name of the antichrist, but they have all been wrong. Some names these systems have come up with are Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Henry Kissinger, Ronald Reagan, William 'Bill' Clinton, and several of the Popes. These should be seen for what they are - just wild guesses. Furthermore, trying to identify antichrist is just a waste of time because he will not be revealed until after the rapture (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). Dr. Ed Hindson concisely stated it when he said:

Only after the rapture of the church will the identity of the antichrist be revealed. In other words, you don't want to know who he is. If you ever do figure out who he is, you have been left behind! This is absolutely true. Nothing is more futile than trying to identify the antichrist before the rapture. Doing so would be an effort to prove the Bible wrong. That has never happened and it is not going to happen now. All anyone does by trying to identify the antichrist before the church is taken out is embarrass himself and bring criticism upon Christians.

In connection with this, let me hasten to add that 666 is the antichrist's number. It is not my driver's license number, my credit card number, my Social Security number or any other number associated with me. Also, it is not any of your numbers. It will not be several billion different numbers for the several billion different individuals on earth. It is his number, one specific number that identifies one specific individual.

The fourth thing we do not know about the antichrist is whether or not he is already alive as a person. It seems reasonable that he will have to be a full-grown man when he appears. And if the rapture is as close as most prophetic authorities think, it makes sense to assume that he is not only alive, but already grown. The thing to remember is nobody knows and all a person can do is speculate.

What the Antichrist Will Be Like When He Appears

We can better understand what the antichrist will be like when he appears by observing a few things about the first and second coming of Jesus. The official first coming of Jesus, commonly called His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, occurred while Jesus was riding upon a donkey, a symbol of peace (Luke 19:2838). The official second coming of Jesus, commonly called the Revelation, will take place at the end of the tribulation period when Jesus returns in righteousness to judge and make war riding upon a white horse, a symbol of conquest. (Revelation 19: 1121). The first time, Jesus came peacefully as the Lamb of God and the second time He will come conquering as the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (John 1:36; Revelation 19:11-16).

This has relevance to what the antichrist will be like as he carries out his bloody career. During his rise to power, he will present himself as a man of peace. So we might expect the prophets to depict him riding upon a donkey, a symbol of peace, but that is wrong. John said, "And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer" (Revelation 6:2).

The antichrist will ride across the pages of history on a white horse, a symbol of conquest. His sweet-sounding words of peace will not match his terrible acts of war. This fictitious christ will present himself as a lamb, but he will really be a wolf in sheep's clothing. When asked about the sign of His coming and the end of the age, Jesus answered, "Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many" (Matthew 24:4, 5). The list of people who have done this is long, but the ultimate false christ will be the antichrist. Multitudes will think they have met the Messiah, but he will really be the man of sin.

The bow was a weapon of war and a symbol of military power in John's day. The antichrist will' appear with a bow in his hand, but he will have no arrows. This is like carrying a gun without bullets. The antichrist will have weapons of war, but he will act like he is unarmed. Daniel said, "by peace shall [he] destroy many" (Daniel 8:25).

A crown is worn by people who earn or inherit the right to wear one, but the antichrist will not earn or inherit the right to wear his crown. It will be a gift from the wicked power brokers of the world. What a terrible mistake! The world's gullible politicians will empower a leader without doing the all- important background check. Some will think they are crowning a godly man, but they will be elevating a fake with a very dark side. The Bible says this fake will "ascend out of the bottomless pit" (Revelation 17:8). That is the gruesome subterranean abode where God is holding the very worst of Satan's demonic spirits. It makes one wonder what kind of background this man will have. Considering his origin, it must be filled with terrible atrocities.

What the World Will Be Like When the Antichrist Appears

When addressing this, the Apostle Paul used the phrase "perilous times" (2 Timothy 3:1). "Perilous times" includes war, and one of the signs of the last days that Jesus talked about is "wars and rumors of wars" (Matthew 24:6). While the antichrist is negotiating peace and consolidating his power, God will release a second horse and rider. John said, "there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword" (Revelation 6:4). The second rider will bring war to the earth. God will allow him to do this to show the world that the antichrist is not the true Prince of Peace, Jesus.

"Perilous times" also includes "economic disaster." While the antichrist is boasting about having solutions to the world's problems, God will release a third horse and rider. John said, "I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine" (Revelation 6:5, 6).

The third rider will bring economic collapse to the world. God will allow him to do this to show the world that the antichrist is not the true Bread of Life, Jesus. Food will be so valuable it will have to be weighed on scales before it is sold. Money will be so worthless that what a man earns in one day will purchase barely enough for one person to survive on. It definitely seems that America, and perhaps the entire world, has forgotten that a good economy is a blessing of God and not a benefit of having the right kind of politician in office. This moral confusion will be disastrous in the days to come.

"Perilous times" also includes starvation and sickness, and two more signs of the last days Jesus talked about are "famine" and "pestilence" (Matthew 24:7). God will release a fourth horse and rider that will fulfill this. John said, "I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth" (Revelation 6:8). God will allow this horse and rider to come on the scene to show the world that the antichrist is not the Great Physician, Jesus. One-fourth of the world's population will die as war and economic disaster spreads like wildfire triggering hunger and disease on every continent.

Most conservative Christians believe the "perilous times" have arrived. China, North Korea, India and Pakistan are developing and selling several different kinds of missiles. Pakistan is even placing nuclear warheads on some that country is selling. China has stolen some of America's top secrets and what they could not steal has been sold to them with the approval of President Clinton. Many experts believe Chinese nuclear missiles will be powerful enough to strike the heart of America in just three to four years.

They are talking about portable intercontinental missiles that America probably will not be able to find and destroy. Asia is struggling with massive economic problems that appear unsolvable to many, Russia is crumbling in every sense of the word. Its government seems totally paralyzed and President Yeltsin resigned on the final day of 1999, after attempts to impeach him had failed. It is unlikely that now President Putin, appointed by outgoing President Yeltsin, will fare any better.

The United States is in a moral crisis that worsens with each passing day. We can't look to the White House for guidance because the man living there has been impeached and found in contempt of court for treading his own immoral path. Judge Susan Weber Wright ruled that not finding him in contempt of court would be a threat to the rule of law.

Russia, China, Iraq and Yugoslavia have formed an alliance to weaken America. With every passing day they seem to be succeeding. Terrorism reigns all over the Middle East. The entire region is an armed camp. World food supplies are low, natural disasters are ever-increasing, and drug-resistant diseases are spreading all over the globe.

In short, the world is in a terrible mess. Serious problems are waxing worse and worse, and we can honestly say that large portions of the earth are like a powder keg just waiting to explode. These problems are so great some are calling for a one-world government to deal with them. According to the Bible, they will get it. But with God's help, a brain-dead crashdummy could solve more problems than the popular antichrist ever will.

The World's Political Structure When the Antichrist Appears

Those watching for the appearance of the antichrist could better spend their time watching the world's political developments. Daniel had several visions of the "times of the Gentiles" and he saw a great disturbance in the Middle East as the tribulation period arrives (Daniel 7). Three groups of nations will exercise power (possibly England and her allies, Russia and her allies, and an African coalition of nations). Then a fourth group will rise to power and crush all the others. This fourth group will be a terrifying world kingdom. When explaining this fourth kingdom to Daniel, an angel said, "The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings" (Daniel 7:23, 24).

Notice the sequence of events involving this fourth kingdom. First, it will appear as a world government crushing and trampling down all the other governments. It will set aside the sovereignty of individual nations and assume authority over the whole earth.

Second, the world government will be divided into ten regions with each region having its own leader or king. These ten regions correspond to the ten toes on the famous statue Nebuchadnezzar dreamed about (Daniel 2). They are also mentioned by the Apostle John in the Book of Revelation (17:12).

Third, the antichrist will begin his rise to power after the ten kings have appeared and he will soon become strong enough to take over one of them. His next step will be to quickly seize control of two more regions. Following that, the leaders of the other seven regions will turn their power over to him (Revelation 17:12-14). When they do that, the antichrist will have absolute control over the entire world. But the point is that the world government will appear and be divided into ten regions before the antichrist shows up. So it would be better for Christians to be watching for a world government than to be watching for the antichrist.

And even after the world government appears, it would be smarter for Christians to be watching for its division into ten groups than to be watching for the antichrist. World government will be the first big step - and the tenfold division of world government will be the second big step - in the escalating cycle of conflict and depravity that will ultimately result in the man of sin taking control.

We see this shaping up in the world today. In fact, it may only be a heartbeat away because the world community is already trying to restructure the United Nations into a world government. They are even using this embryonic world government to trample upon the cherished sovereignty of independent nations such as Iraq, Israel, Haiti and Yugoslavia. Furthermore, several high-powered groups have already called on world leaders to divide the planet into ten regions and empower the United Nations to rule over them. One of those ten regions is Europe. This is the exact pattern that will exist when the antichrist rises to power. He will rise to power after a world government has been established, and divided into ten regions with one of them being in Europe (Daniel 9:26).

This is the kingdom Satan offered to Jesus (Luke 4:5-7). The world does not belong to Satan, but the power and splendor of the world are his and he can give that to anyone he chooses. Jesus refused it, but Satan still wants to be worshipped and he will find a willing world leader in the antichrist. As soon as the church is raptured, everything will fall in place.

More Information About the Sequence of Events

The Bible does not reveal the day or hour the antichrist will show up, but it does provide several clues.

First, the good news about when the antichrist will appear is that it cannot happen until God allows it and He will not allow it until the church is raptured. Paul said, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [the Day of the Lord or the tribulation period] shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition ... And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way" (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 6, 7). The antichrist cannot appear until the One holding him back is removed. There is wide agreement that the One holding him back is the Holy Spirit. He will stop restraining the antichrist and leave the earth when the church is raptured.

Second, the antichrist will rise to power before the tribulation period begins. The Book of Revelation is a very sequenceoriented book. Most authorities agree that the rapture occurs in the Book of Revelation when John is caught up into heaven (Revelation 4:1, 2). Following that, the antichrist comes on the scene as the rider on a white horse (Revelation 6:2). Then the tribulation period or the day of wrath begins (Revelation 6:17). This sequence is necessary because the antichrist must be a recognized world leader possessing the authority to make agreements before the tribulation period can begin.

Third, as a world leader, the antichrist will sign one particular agreement that will mark the beginning of the tribulation period. According to Daniel, "he [the antichrist] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week" (Daniel 9:27). "One week" is a Bible term meaning one week of years or seven years. It is the worthless signature of the antichrist on a covenant with many to protect Israel for seven years that begins the tribulation period.

Fourth, the covenant to protect Israel will be voided three and one-half years later and that will mark the midpoint of the tribulation period. Daniel divided the tribulation period into two equal segments of three and one- half years each when he said, "in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease" (Daniel 9:27). At the middle of the tribulation period, the antichrist will set aside the seven-year covenant to protect Israel and stop the sacrifices and offerings at the Temple.

Fifth, his world government will be brought to an end by the second coming of Jesus. This is the great stone that struck the feet on the famous statue Nebuchadnezzar dreamed about (Daniel 2:34, 35, 44, 45). Jesus will seize the antichrist and throw him into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20). No one will help him (Daniel 11:45). Never before has a world leader fallen like this. Never again will anyone praise the New World Order. It will be a dead issue from that day forward. That highly touted political concept will be just as dead as the first Fuhrer was when he killed himself.

The False Prophet

No one will help the antichrist when Jesus takes him captive, but he will have a lot of help when he rises to power. His most famous ally will be a very powerful leader in the religious community. The Bible does not identify this one by name, but it calls him two things: "the beast coming up out of the earth" and "the false prophet" (Revelation 13:11; 19:20). This religious beast will present himself as a lamb, which means he will try to impersonate Jesus, the Lamb of God. And he will speak like a dragon, which means most of what he says will be Satanic (Revelation 13: 11). We can only speculate about what he will say, but it seems likely that he will be an expert in political correctness. He will probably put a great deal of emphasis on diversity and inclusiveness. He will probably stress gender equality, same sex marriages, tolerance, population control and things like that. Some Scriptures indicate that he will stress children's rights in such a way as to turn children against their parents.

This powerful religious leader will appear to be a great miracle worker and multitudes will be deceived when he causes fire to fall from heaven (Revelation 13:13). Many more will be deceived when he places an image of the antichrist in the Temple and seemingly makes it appear to come to life (Revelation 13:15). How he will do this is a big question, but both Jesus and the prophet Daniel foretold it and there can be no doubt that it will get the world's attention (Matthew 24:15; Daniel 9:27).

Once he has done these things, he will demand that all the world direct worship that God alone deserves toward the antichrist and his image. To back up his demand, he will institute a system to force the compliance of every individual on earth. The Apostle John said he will cause "all, both small and great, 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" (Revelation 13:16, 17). This mark, which is usually called the "mark of the beast," will place everyone in peril. Complying will ignite the wrath of God and result in a person being cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 14:9-11). Not complying will ignite the wrath of the antichrist and result in a person being beheaded (Revelation 20:4). Everyone will have to decide whether or not to take the mark. Cooperation will open the door for a person to obtain food, water, medicine, housing, electricity, clothing and more. But not cooperating will prevent a person from obtaining the necessities of life. It doesn't require much imagination to realize just how bad this will be. There will be widespread famine; and multitudes of Christians and Jews will be hated, arrested, persecuted and killed (Matthew 24:7-9).

This mark of the beast is why so many prophecy experts talk about the coming "cashless society." They know that a system will be needed to track all buying and selling. They also know that computers can do that if every transaction is scanned. So they believe money will be replaced by a computerized scanning system that will make the infamous mark of the beast both practical and plausible. Fingerprint scanners, voice print scanners, eye scanners, computerized smart cards and implanted computer chips are already a reality that is only step away from what the Bible predicted almost 2,000 years ago.

And something else is looming on the horizon. The United Nations now wants everyone on earth numbered, and it is even pressuring all nations to do just that. Funds were requested in the 1998 United States Budget for this very purpose. What happened was the insertion of a clause in the budget agreement that prohibits expenditures on this for 12 months. Prophecy experts know that once every citizen on earth is numbered and entered into a computer, it will be easy for the false prophet to order them to take the "mark" and track whether or not they obey, A complete list of who has been marked and who hasn't will be as easy as pushing a button.

How Could This Happen?

All of these things will be the bitter fruit of spiritual darkness, corruption and adultery. The Holy Spirit will be gone when the church is removed in the rapture. Once His restraining influence is taken away, God will send strong delusion upon the earth to punish those who are refusing to love the truth and be saved (2 Thessalonians 2: 10, 11). Those left behind will witness the rise of the antichrist, but they will not recognize him for what he is. He will be empowered by Satan (2 Thessalonians 2:9). He will claim to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:4). He will become very strong and kill those who become true believers (Daniel 8:24). He will be helped by "seducing spirits and doctrines of devils" (1 Timothy 4: 1). He will seemingly work miracles. Jesus said, "there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matthew 24:24). This will be all the antichrist needs to blind a spiritually sidetracked world and lead it astray. Dr. Ed Hindson has said:

The lure of false doctrine is that it presents itself as the truth. It appears as a corrective measure to established doctrine. It is propagated by those who are certain they have discovered some new revelation of truth or a better interpretation of old, established truth. Either way, they are convinced they are right and everyone else is wrong.

And Dr. Dave Breese has said: The essential battle of our time is not between Communism and civilization, it is not between the Protestant atheists and the Catholic atheists in Ireland, it is not between the free world and the barbarians - it is between earth and heaven. It takes the form of a civil war. It is a battle between revolutionary, radical man and the government of God.

What Will Happen to These Who Take the Mark

Being left behind when the rapture occurs will be no blessing. Besides being cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 14:9-10), here is just a partial list of the terrible things those who take the mark of the beast will face if they are lucky enough to live very long:

1. Violent wars (Revelation 6:3, 4; 9:15-18).

2. Economic collapse, hunger and starvation (Revelation 6:5, 6).

3. Famine, pestilence and wild animals (Revelation 6:7, 8).

4. Earthquakes, extreme darkness and perhaps nuclear bombs and missiles (Revelation 6:12).

5. Hail and fire that burns one-third of the trees and grass on earth (Revelation 8:7).

6. One-third of the sea turning to blood (Revelation 8:8, 9).

7. One-third of the fresh water being polluted (Revelation 8:10,11).

8. One-third of the sun, moon and stars being darkened (Revelation 8:12).

9. Demon-possessed locusts with the sting of scorpions (Revelation 9:3-5).

10. Painful sores (Revelation 16:2).

11. Worldwide pollution of the seas (Revelation 16:2).

12. Worldwide pollution of fresh water (Revelation 16:4).

13. Scorching fire from the sun (Revelation 16:8).

14. Total darkness with extreme agony on earth (Revelation 16:10).

Joining the world religious system will not help. Even that will be destroyed. God will place it in the hearts of the antichrist and his ten puppet kings to do this at the tribulation period midpoint (Revelation 17:16, 17). They will act with great vengeance, leaving nothing of the false church.

What Will Happen to Those Who Refuse to Take the Mark

People will pay dearly for refusing the mark of the beast and accepting Jesus after the rapture. Here is a partial list of things revealed in the Scriptures:

1. God's people will be oppressed and their religion will be slandered (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13:16, 17).

2. God's people will be betrayed, hated and killed (Matthew 24:9, 10; Revelation 20:4).

3. Many will grow weak and fall away (Matthew 24:12).

But all the news is not bad. Accepting Christ after the rapture and refusing the mark of the beast will mean that people will possess the kingdom of God (Daniel 7:18, 27). They will serve in His temple (Revelation 7:14-17). The dead will be raised, and they will live and reign with Jesus here on earth for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4).

His Anti-Christian Activity

The Bible provides a long list of clues about the religion of the antichrist. To say that he will oppose the Judeo-Christian ethic is simply too mild. It would be more accurate to say he will go on a rampage against the world's newly-converted Christians and brutally kill all he can (Daniel 7:19-25; Revelation 6:9-11; 12:17; 13:7). This can be attributed to the demonic influence in his life (2 Thessalonians 2:9). He will defy God, oppose God, resist God, try to replace God, and claim to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:4). He will be a blasphemer of the highest sort (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13:5). He will try to change the Christian calendar (Daniel 7:25), promote witchcraft (Daniel 8:25), demand that the world worship him (Revelation 13:15), and promote a one-world harlot religion (Revelation 17:1-18). This will probably be the politically correct social values now being promoted by the United Nations.

His Dealings With Israel

When he first rises to power, the antichrist will be well received by the Jews. Some commentators even believe they will accept him as their long- awaited Messiah. This is because Jesus said, "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive" (John 5:43). They rejected the true Christ and it appears as if they will accept the antichrist. Signing the seven-year covenant to protect Israel will make him even more popular. That covenant will probably grant the Jews the right to rebuild their much-desired Temple, reinstitute the animal sacrifices, and resume the offerings (Daniel 9:27).

But his love affair with Israel will not last very long. God will quickly seal 144,000 Jewish evangelists to preach the gospel to the world (Revelation 7:1-8). He will also call two witnesses and empower them to the same thing in Jerusalem (Revelation 11:3-13). Many Jews will turn away from the antichrist and accept Jesus as their Messiah. This will stir his wrath. He will begin to persecute the Jews. After three and one-half years he will break his covenant to protect them, defile the Temple he let them rebuild, stop the animal sacrifices, and stop the offerings (Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11).

Many of the Jews will flee into the wilderness (Matthew 24:15, 16). Most scholars believe they will go to the ancient rock city called Petra. The antichrist will send his armies to destroy them and it will take nothing short of divine intervention to preserve them (Revelation 12:13-16). God's help will make the antichrist furious. He will quickly kill two- thirds of those Jews who do not escape (Zechariah 13:8). He will attack Jerusalem, capture the Holy City, rob and kill many of its citizens, make slaves out of others, and his troops will rape the Jewish women (Zechariah 14:1, 2; Daniel 7:25; 12:7). The Bible calls this "the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jeremiah 30:7). According to Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy:

One of the major reasons for the tribulation is to prepare Israel for her conversion. Thus, both Israel as a nation and a people will experience the manifestations of evil during this era. In fact, many of the events of the tribulation revolve around Israel. Geographically and spiritually, Israel is at center stage during the tribulation.

Do not overlook this. It often seems like most of those who write about the antichrist, end-of-the-age events, etc. are riding the hobbyhorse of bad news, but they do not intend to do that. And a lot of good things will result from these terrible events. The conversion of Israel is one of the really big ones.

What About the United States?

Almost two thousand years ago, the Apostle John was talking about world kingdoms when he said, "Five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come" (Revelation 17:10). The "five are fallen" kingdoms were Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, MedoPersia and Greece. The "one is" refers to the sixth, the Roman Empire that was in existence when John received the Revelation. The seventh, or one "not yet come," is the future kingdom of antichrist. That one will be a global dictatorship (Revelation 13:7). National sovereignty will be a relic of the past. The United States will cease to be an independent nation. American troops will have only a fraction of the power of a world military. World court rulings will supercede those of the United States Supreme Court. The American economy will be controlled by the global economy. Dr. Ed Hindson says:

All through the 20th century, we have allowed godless secularism to replace the Judeo-Christian values of our society. God has been deliberately and systematically removed from prominence in our culture and in our intellectual lives. We have made Him irrelevant to our culture. Tragically, we have also made our culture irrelevant to God. In so doing, we have abandoned our spiritual heritage. The Christian consensus that once dominated Western culture is now shattered. The world is already mired in the quicksand of secularism, relativism, and mysticism. It is a wonder we have survived as long as we have.

This is hard for many people to accept. We have an earnest desire to believe that America has a special place in God's heart. It once did, but that was because God had a special place in America's heart. We can no longer say that. As a nation we have kicked God out of our schools. As a nation we have told Him not to interfere in our decisions regarding abortion, homosexuality, and things like that. As a nation we have said character doesn't matter. Some of our most faithful church members have decided that God should set aside His commandments about adultery and lying because the economy is good and the stock market keeps going higher and higher. America's most secret weapons, and along with them America's treasured security, have been sold to some of the most wicked people on earth, but most voters are asleep and few could care less. A Fuhrer worse than Adolf Hitler ever dreamed of being is waiting in the wings. He wants to take over the world, including our beloved United States, and the church, like the five foolish virgins, is in a deep sleep. "What about the United States," we ask? The Bible doesn't say. America desperately needs a revival, but her economy is so good most don't want it. Therefore, it is the opinion of this writer that something must change in a hurry, or we can kiss our cherished country goodbye forever.

Closing Remarks

Skeptics quickly point out that Jesus said, "of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matthew 24:36). They willingly overlook the fact that He gave us many signs and inferred that we can tell when they "begin to come to pass" (Luke 21:28). Also, that He said, "when ye shall see all t ' these things, know that it is near, even at the doors" (Matthew 24:33). Conservative Christians believe they see all these things coming on the scene now. This means the rapture will soon take place and multitudes of lost people are in real danger. The lukewarm, and all those who have heard the Word and refused to believe it, will be deceived and lost forever (Revelation 3:14-22; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). If there ever was a time when true revival was needed, this is it. Those who are not Christian should prepare and the only way to do that is to accept Christ.