What does the Bible reveal about the coming Antichrist? Find out with hosts Tim Moore, Nathan Jones, and Dave Bowen on the television program, Christ in Prophecy!
Air Date: January 20, 2024
The Rise and Fall of the Antichrist (Article)
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Tim Moore: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy. I’m joined once again today by Nathan Jones and Dave Bowen. And thank you for joining us as we open God’s Word to seek insight and encouragement from the Holy Spirit. Last week we considered the age old foe of mankind and the accuser who rages against us day by day, Satan. We discussed how to be rightfully balanced in our consideration of him. Clearly, we should not dismiss him or ignore the threat he represents too quickly, but we should also not fixate on him or allow him to distract us from keeping our eyes on our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
This week, we will examine an individual who will appear in the end times as the final culmination of humanity’s rebellion against the Creator. In fact, halfway through the Tribulation, he will be possessed by Satan personally. I’m getting ahead of myself, but I’m obviously speaking of the Antichrist.
Tim Moore: So, fellas, where are we introduced to this nefarious actor within the pages of Scripture?
Nathan Jones: Well, most people would go to 2 Thessalonians 2 and say, that’s a reference to the Antichrist. But, you know, there’s actually references to the Antichrist back in the Old Testament. There’s a prophecy here in Zechariah 11:17, and it says, “Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock!” And the worthless shepherd has always been tied to a false messiah, a false leader who will come and supposedly offer peace to the Jewish people, and give security to Israel, and then betray them. We can then go to a Daniel, the Prophet Daniel in 9:26, he gives a prophecy about where the Antichrist comes from, and he will come from the people who will destroy the city and the temple. And we know the people who destroyed the city and the temple were the Romans. So we know his origins will be European in nature, more likely Southern Europe. We then go into Revelation chapter 13, and that’s where we really learn about him because he’s the beast from the sea, the sea representing the Gentile world. He will rise out of the Gentile world. So there’s quite a lot of different passages. And of course, if you go the Apostle John in 1 John and all, he actually just names him, Antichrist.
Tim Moore: He certainly does.
David Bowen: And I think you just did a great job bringing some of the Scriptures up, exposing some of the places in Scripture where he is. But I think we need to remember that we now live in an anti-Christian world, influenced, highly influenced by anti-Christian, antichrist spirit.
Tim Moore: Okay, so that’s a great point. We know that the Antichrist, I’ll say capital “A” Antichrist, is this coming man of lawlessness. More on the man of lawlessness in just a while. So that is an individual singular figure who becomes the anti-messiah, he opposes Christ. We will talk about the fact there have been many antichrist little “a” antichrist, but Scripture talks about this spirit of antichrist that is in the world perhaps has always been in the world. So what is that hearkening to, Dave?
David Bowen: Well, I think the best way to explain that would be an illustration. It’s one I used to use all the time. I’m not sure it’s still valid because they don’t do this anymore, but when bank tellers were being trained, they were sent to Philadelphia to understand counterfeit bills. And when they went there, they were there for a week. How many bills do you think each bank teller would see that was counterfeit in that whole week, time they were there?
Tim Moore: A whole bunch, you would think, right?
David Bowen: Zero, because what they did, they showed them the real thing from every possible angle. So they got to know the real dollar bill, the real everything about it, from the printing to the how it felt, everything. So that when they went back home and they had counterfeit bills come in and they knew the real things so well that the counterfeits just stuck out like a sore thumb. And I think that’s how we look at the antichrist spirit. We’ve got to know God’s Word and the Spirit of Christ so well that everything else that can deceive us sticks out like a sore thumb.
Tim Moore: Okay, So that’s a good application to how we can discern this spirit. But what is the spirit actually doing in the world today? What is this spirit of antichrist that we see manifesting, perhaps even in the signs of the times related to society do you think, Nathan?
Nathan Jones: Well, the Apostle John not only wrote the Book of Revelation as the Lord dictated it, but he also wrote John and First, Second and Third John. And he says this is 1 John 2:18 “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.” So when he talks about the Antichrist, he’s talking about false prophets, deception. What is interesting when the apostles ask Jesus what would be the signs of your return? The number one sign which He gave right off the bat was false christ and false prophets, liars, deceivers. It’s not the real thing. You know you want to buy a diamond ring as an engagement ring for your wife, but instead you buy a diamonelle ring and hope she doesn’t know. You know, he’s the diamonelle, he is the fake. And he’s always been in prophecy as the last days, in other words, the Church Age, especially the last of the last days, where we’re at, that he is going to have this spirit of deception that fills the world. And we’re living in a time period of great deception. So the spirit of the antichrist, a deceptive time is there, but it will be embodied in a man at the appropriate time, as prophecy prophesied.
Tim Moore: You already spoke of Paul’s letter to the church at Thessalonica. I always point out that people say, well, I’ll get around to thinking about prophetic things or the Lord’s coming eventually. Some pastors, Dave, say, well, I’ll talk about that later after a few years, we’ve got so many other things. I always point out that Paul was already sharing to this new church, the one he planted in Thessalonica within the few weeks that he was there present with them, he was talking about the Lord’s return, warning them of end times things, but giving them the hope of keeping their eyes on Jesus Christ. But in 2 Thessalonians, his second letter responding to some of their questions in chapter two, verse three, he said, “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it, (meaning the day of the Lord, the return of the Lord, even the Rapture of the Church) has not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.” And we know if you’re an old King James Bible user, that in John 17:12, that it talks about the son of perdition. And so whether he’s man of lawless, son of perdition, he’s coming. But the spirit of apostasy will be manifest first. And one of the signs of the times is not just the society, but is spiritual, and boy, we have seen a dramatic increase in apostasy inside the church, heresy. And so that spirit of antichrist is already raging in the world today.
David Bowen: People are too comfortable with the spirit of antichrist, in fact, they almost welcome it in. Well, as a pastor, one of the hardest things to do is to get people to say no to that, to push that away and to walk a life that’s righteous because they so much want comfort and everything that the antichrist spirit, how about us? Make it about me. Make me comfortable. Do what I want for me, and then that would be the antichrist spirit, because we’re not serving, we’re not thinking, we’re not doing anything for anybody else, we want it to be all about us. And that’s where our world is at today, you see that everywhere I think in the world today.
Nathan Jones: And we can look historically to types of antichrist to give us kind of an idea. If we go back to 215 to 164 B.C., there was a gentleman, a gentleman, wrong word there, he was no gentleman, he was a conqueror Antiochus Epiphanies, he was a king and he was persecuting the Jewish people. And he did not want the Jewish people to be Jewish anymore. So when he came in, Hellenized or turned Greek the area and he went into the temple and he desecrated it by sacrificing a pig and he put a picture of Zeus or a statue of Zeus in the holy of holies and demanded the Jewish people worship him. And he is a type of Antichrist. Again, he takes what is meant to be holy and he desecrates it. And that’s what the Antichrist will do. He will take what is holy, the newly rebuilt Third Temple, and he will desecrate it.
Tim Moore: And we see people like that today, and they’ve been throughout history. You can point to Haman, who had the spirit of antichrist trying to destroy the Jewish people. Let his name be cursed forever. You can think of Hitler who tried to destroy the Jewish people a little “a” antichrist. Some may have thought at one point he was the capital “A” Antichrist, but not yet. And today we’ve seen just in recent months Hamas another “H” emerging, having a spirit of antichrist, wanting to destroy the Jewish people. And really this is replete throughout Scripture. We talked many times about Psalm 2 when the Lord asking the question rhetorically, “Why do the nations rage and the peoples meditate or devise a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand, the rulers take counsel together.” Against what? “Against Yahweh, the Lord God, and against His anointed (Jesus Christ.)” So this spirit of opposing Christ, of trying to thwart the will of God, well it’s all going to fail, but there have been many individuals in this spirit evident in the world really since the beginning of time.
But I want to get back to the capital “A” Antichrist. What does the Bible say about this individual? How does he ascend? What is his background and what marks his despotic rule?
Nathan Jones: We have to go to Revelation 13 and read about the Beast from the Sea. And so it’s a kind of a picture of his characteristics as if he was a monster, a many headed monster with seven heads, and ten horns, and ten crowns. It’s represented of different kingdoms. He’s the dragon, in other words, Satan gives him power to rule over a certain time. But it also notes that what makes him different from Antiochus Epiphanies or Hitler, is that he will rule the entire world, every country will be subject to him. And so Satan will give him great authority, and he will also give him a false prophet, a high priest who will go out and make the world worship him.
And this is interesting Dr. Reagan put a great list of characteristics of the Antichrist, and we have this good article on our website about the Antichrist.
This is this is how he explains this guy. He’s the anti-in other words the opposite of Jesus. So if Jesus is good, you know, Satan bad. So he’s a braggart, an egotist, a blasphemer, he’s contemptuous, he’s a persecutor of believers, he’s insolent, he’s deceptive and very shrewd, he’s demonic, destructive, willful, he’s a sexual pervert. And look at our times. He’s militaristic, he goes out to conquer, and very materialistic.
Tim Moore: And we know from Daniel that he comes from the people who would destroy the city of Jerusalem. So that’s why we think he hearkens from the old revived Roman Empire, Eastern Europe, European. We don’t get very specific in our prediction, but we do believe that he comes from that region of the world that was part of the Roman realm in the day of Christ.
David Bowen: Can I ask a question: Is he alive today?
Tim Moore: Well, I think that is a key question. I’m going to ask another one even before we get to our answer to that question. We have a lot of people that ask us, do we know who he is? And they would like to say, well, I think he’s this person. I think he’s that person. So let’s get to your answer in just a moment. But do we think that we know who he is today?
David Bowen: I believe, personally, the way I would answer that question, I believe that Satan doesn’t know the day or the hour only the father knows the day or the hour. So Satan had to have a proxy in place for every generation. So we look back in history and say, well, it was Hitler or it was this one or it is that one, we always want to point fingers at somebody, even today, well it’s this guy or it is that guy. I think every generation, Satan had somebody in the wing who could have fit the mold or could have been the proxy that would have fit the qualifications of the Antichrist because he has no clue when Jesus is coming back.
Tim Moore: So that means he’s not necessarily a particular president, or a particular political leader, or a monarch on the world stage today.
Nathan Jones: But he might. But he might.
David Bowen: Well, when is Jesus coming back?
Nathan Jones: You see and that is the key in the past Jesus wasn’t coming back during World War II, it couldn’t have been Hitler or Stalin or Mao. What did you Jesus say in Matthew 24? That He would return when the Jewish people are regathered back in their land, their nation is whole again, they have control of Jerusalem and the entire world is against them. That’s the generation or the era when Jesus would return. So the Jews have been regathered, they are back in control of Jerusalem. I think we’re seeing in the world stage the beginning of the Psalm 83 War. The alliances for the Gog and Magog war are there. The next step after that is the Tribulation and the return of Jesus Christ. So the fact that the signs of the times say that we’re in the season of the Lord’s return means that I believe personally that the Antichrist is alive and well today and on the scene he just hasn’t taken the mantle.
Tim Moore: Alright, so there you go, he says he’s alive on the world stage today.
David Bowen: But I think it’s important to realize I don’t think the Church, the Christians will be able to witness that or see that.
Tim Moore: Okay, I’m going to agree with you both, because I also think exactly as you said, Dave, Satan has always had a man ready to go, ready to thrust into prominence because he didn’t know the timing of the Lord’s return. He didn’t know more specifically the timing of the Rapture of the church. And that becomes, I think, the thing that is restraining the world. We’ve talked about how right now there are folks who want to be progressive, meaning send us down the wrong road at breakneck speed, but they are held back. You know what’s holding them back? You and me and all of us who are being salt and light in this world.
I’ve talked about how our viewers, even today, are troubles of the world using the phrase that Ahab uttered against Elijah, because we’re holding back the forces of evil, or what some would claim is progress. But when we’re removed in the Rapture of the church, then the world will go breakneck speed on a hell bound mission to eradicate the name of Christ and to really create this one world order that we already see coming into play under the leadership of the Antichrist. So Satan has to have somebody ready to go. I don’t think we know who it is. I don’t hearken to any of the common names that are offered up to us, when people say, oh, I figured it out, well, maybe. But Satan has somebody ready to go and because we believe Jesus is coming soon and very soon, I think that person is already alive today. But you know what? It really doesn’t matter if the Lord tarries Satan will have another person, and then another person ready to thrust into that position of prominence.
Nathan Jones: And the world will know who the Antichrist is because he will confirm a covenant with Israel, a covenant of peace and he will make it for seven exact years. Now, we believe as Pretribulation Rapture believers, that the Rapture will happen before the Tribulation before the Antichrist makes a covenant. So he is not revealed yet.
Tim Moore: Which is why, as you said, yeah, we won’t know who it is because he’ll be revealed after the Rapture. Sorry to interrupt you, that’s an important point.
Nathan Jones: No, I’m glad you brought that up.
Tim Moore: And it could be a period of time between the Rapture and the Tribulation beginning too.
Nathan Jones: Absolutely.
Tim Moore: So, because you have that seven year period.
Nathan Jones: And when it comes to the Antichrist, folks will read 2 Thessalonians 2 and confuse it because they believe the son of perdition comes and then Jesus returns and raptures us and they make it a Post-Tribulation Rapture. But Paul knew Daniel 9, and he knew that Daniel was saying that the Antichrist won’t be revealed until he makes that covenant. So it’s not that Jesus will return, He will at the end of the Tribulation, but not for the Rapture, the Rapture is an event that’s imminent that happens before the Tribulation.
David Bowen: And one thing I think is important you started to go with the Psalm 83 battles in Gog Magog and so on and so forth, I think the stage gets set for the Antichrist. When he comes into power everything is there for him. He doesn’t create it. He comes in and walks into it, everything’s in place for him. And I think the church does go through some of that. Psalm 83 we might go through the chaos and the pain of that, that’s possible, but I don’t think we will see him.
Nathan Jones: Well, look at the geopolitics of the world when the Antichrist comes on the scene. Okay, Israel is a much larger country because of its victories in Psalm 83; God the world knows He’s protecting. God’s destroyed Russia and the Islamic world at the beginning of it. We don’t hear about China to the end. And because of the amount of Christians in China and America, we’re likely depowered because of the Rapture. That only leaves one superpower in the world left. Where did the Bible prophesize the Antichrist would arrive or rise from? The revived Roman Empire. Europe, the European Union will stand. And the world will marvel at the fact that the European Union is now the world power.
Tim Moore: I think we have a fairly recent model of this very progression and culmination of that power. You look at Germany in the 1930s, and I use this example all the time following World War One, the devastation of that war and even the imposed restrictions on Germany, the reparations that they didn’t finish paying as a nation until just recent decades, I’m talking about into the 21st century, Germany paid off its World War I debt. And so in the 1930s, as bad as the Depression was here, it was catastrophic in Germany. Their German mark was worthless, people had to spend their money immediately, lest it became even more worthless the next day. And in this chaos, when the pride of the nation was destroyed, their military was destroyed, one man stepped forward to say, I can fix this. I can put things back in order. I can make the trains run on time. I can rebuild our military and restore our national pride. I can make Germany great again, so to speak, and they believed him. And so Germany embraced Adolf Hitler, and for a season he did all those things. He restored Germany’s economy, he rebuilt their military, he restored their pride, but he was a mad man.
And so after the Rapture, I think the world will descend into absolute chaos. The economy will collapse. There will be wars and all sorts of conflicts. And I think one individual who will be waiting in the wings will emerge to say, I can fix this. I can put the world back in order and I can restore worldwide pride, a one world government, and everybody will prosper and the world will clamor for him. We’ve talked about how a Belgian prime minister said, “Don’t give us another committee, another political solution, we want a man who can lead us and be he God or be he devil,” that was Paul Henry Spock, “then we will embrace him.” And that’s what will happen.
So here’s a question, I guess, for us today as a church, how much attention should we give to the Antichrist? I was invited several years ago to speak to a group who said we’ve been studying him for months and months. And obviously we’ve set aside this episode of Christ in Prophecy to talk about the Antichrist. But what’s the proper balance of attention to give this guy?
David Bowen: When I look at the Antichrist, he hates Israel. And when you look at Israel in the world, you see that antichrist spirit, I think as a preempt to what is going to be like. It’s going to be even worse in the Tribulation Period, how he goes against the Jews and Israel particularly. And you said, well, the Tribulation Period begins with a seven year peace pact with Israel. Why? Why peace with Israel? Because they have conquered and they have gained ground and the whole world is there, so he comes in and says, I have a peace pact like this. But he hates the Jews. I think one way we look at this and say, how do we know how close we’re getting to the end times? How has the world turned against Israel?
Nathan Jones: Especially in our last times. Well, it’s wonderful to know that as powerful as the Antichrist will be and he will have billions of death on him, the blood on his hands will be more than any despot in the world, that he is going to face his death. If we go to Revelation 19:19, “I saw the beasts, the kings of the Earth and their armies gathered together to make war against him, Jesus, who sat on a horse and against his army.” So the Antichrist is going to get whoever is left alive, he’s going to bring them to Jezreel in the anticipation of Christ’s return. And this is this battle of Armageddon we read about, and it says–this is it just goes so quickly Christ’s victory, “Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of the Lord.” Isn’t that amazing? So as powerful as he is, and with even all the power of Satan, because he’s possessed by Satan going through him, his defeat is assured in prophecy.
Tim Moore: It certainly is. I think I can give a, I guess, a clue, even for our viewers today, to know how to be on guard against the spirit of antichrist, let alone the individual. Again, we don’t believe we will witness or at least recognize as the capital “A” Antichrist until after the Rapture. Anyone who opposes Jesus Christ, anyone who opposes the will of God, anyone who contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture. And I’ll even expand that for what we’ve seen in recent days, any who hate the people God has called chosen, whether that is Christians grafted back into the family of God or the Jewish people. Now I know the Jewish people, many of them today have not yet accepted their Messiah, but God has a provision for them. He’s going to protect and preserve them, so a great remnant is brought to salvation. So any individual or organization that says, well, I hate the Jews, I have Antisemitism manifest that person, or that organization, or that nation is demonstrating a spirit of antichrist.
David Bowen: Correct. I agree. I 100% agree with that.
Tim Moore: Well, you know, we do have a tremendous resource that would be available to you. Nathan’s already mentioned, Dr. Reagan years ago wrote “The Man of Lawlessness: The Antichrist in the Tribulation.” And not just in the Tribulation, this great book gives you an understanding of the man of perdition, the man of lawlessness, who is already being manifest in the spirit of this age. So if you would like to get a copy of this book, you can call the number on the screen. And here’s a little bit more information about this very special offer.
Tim Moore: Well, I’ll restate just my position regarding the Antichrist. While I can discuss him and his evil effort to rule the world and eradicate Christians and Jews during the Tribulation, I am not personally looking for him. Instead, I am looking for Jesus Christ.
You know, Nathan, here at Christ in Prophecy, we don’t focus on the Antichrist. Really how do we balance that out?
Nathan Jones: Well, I love here we’re called Christ in Prophecy, not Antichrist in Prophecy. I’ve heard you say that before. I love that line. We are not it. Because there are some ministries so focused on the Antichrist and not on Jesus Christ. And that’s where the despair comes in because they look at the world around them and they see how evil it’s getting, and they are living in despair. They want to get out of here. We all long for the Rapture, we want to be out of here, too. But I think what we need is to continue to follow what Ephesians 6 says we put on the full armor of God.
Tim Moore: Yes.
Nathan Jones: We’re here to fight. This is the time that the Lord has put us in, and so we fight the good fight until He calls us home, and not despair because we know how it ends Jesus wins.
Tim Moore: We certainly do. And I love the fact that we have talked about the full armor of God, because those of us who have put on Jesus Christ, we are immune from the fiery darts of the Devil. Although he is constantly trying, as we discussed last week, to distract us. Sometimes even a discussion of the Antichrist can distract us.
Let’s be very frank, as John 3:36 says, there’s an either or, you either choose wisely or you choose poorly. You either are in Christ, you’ve put on Christ, you have been washed and sealed for all of eternity, or the wrath of God abides on you. You know that is the bottom line. If you reject the Lord’s offer of salvation, you will be left behind at the Rapture. You’ll fall under the one world government of the Antichrist and be subject to the outpouring of God’s wrath, that will see a quarter and then a third of the world killed in just the first half of the Tribulation. And if you survive that outpouring of wrath during the Tribulation, you will probably embrace a diluting spirit that will prevent you from accepting Jesus Christ. And even if you call on the Lord during the Tribulation to save you through faith in Christ, the Antichrist will hunt you down to kill you. But the truth is that you’re not guaranteed to live long enough to see the Rapture or to identify the Antichrist, or even to enter the Tribulation. None of us is promised another day or even another hour in this life. That is why you cannot risk an eternity without God. Call upon the Lord Jesus Christ today and be saved.
Dave, tell our viewers how they can do that and have the blessed assurance of salvation for all of eternity.
David Bowen: I’ll be happy to. You know, as a pastor, I get away with asking a question like this, I ask people often: If you die today, would you go to heaven? And most people say, well, I hope so. I think so. And I ask a follow up question, I say: Well, how do you know? And most commonly people say, well, I’m a good person. Well, you don’t need to have a hope or wonder, you can have assurance that you can have eternal life. How do you do that? Well, first of all, you need to admit that you’re a sinner. You sin, I sin, we all sin, and that sin put us in debt to God. And the only way we can get away from suffering the penalty of that sin is to have innocent blood shed for us, blood is what covered sin. And the only One who should shed His innocent blood for you and for I is the Lord Jesus Christ. So first of all, you need to admit that you’re a sinner. Second of all, you need to say I need a savior. And the only one that fits that mold, the only One who can do that, the only one that can save me is the Lord Jesus Christ. And when you open your heart up, when you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord, and you say, Lord, come into my life and you allow Him to just be the Lord of your life, you yield yourself to Him, then you have the assurance and the promise of eternal life. So you don’t need to wonder or guess or hope so you have that assurance and that is something that can never be taken away from you. So those at home, those watching now, and those watching later on just understand who Jesus is, His innocent blood was shed for your guilt, for my guilt, so that we won’t be found guilty, but found justified standing before Him with eternal life in the future.
Tim Moore: You know, even in a show focusing on the Antichrist, we want to point you to Jesus Christ. All of us here, Dave, Nathan, me all of us at Lamb & Lion Ministries hope that you have embraced Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. And if you have the Antichrist offers no threat to you, you are sealed for all eternity as a child of God, and you can look forward to the promise that Jesus will come to rescue those who are His from the wrath to come. What a great God we serve! Zephaniah says “He is mighty, and mighty to save.” And we just can answer amen. So until He comes, join us in crying out “Maranatha! Come quickly Lord Jesus! Godspeed!
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