The Beast That Is to Come
"The Antichrist is coming" (1 John 2:18).
One of the final signs of the end, which the Bible devotes numerous chapters to, is the rise of a world government headed by a Devil-possessed tyrant known as the Antichrist or "the Beast." The 13th chapter of the book of Revelation says that the world is going to actually worship Satan, in the person of this bestial world leader. "So they worshiped the dragon [the Devil] who gave power to the beast [the Antichrist]; and they worshiped the beast" (Revelation 13:4).
The stage is rapidly being set for the world to accept global leadership. Famed British historian Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975) observed, "The nations are ready to give the kingdoms of the world to any one man who will offer us a solution to our world's problems." The first president of the United Nations General Assembly, Paul-Henri Spaak, who was also a prime minister of Belgium as well as a secretary-general of NATO, affirmed, "We do not want another committee, we have too many already. What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all the people and to lift us up out of the economic morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, and whether he be God or devil, we will receive him."
The New World Order
We are hearing more and more about the "New World Order" or the "global community." President George Bush, Sr., popularized the term when he said in a speech before the U.S. Congress during the 1991 Gulf War, "We stand today at a unique and extraordinary moment. … Out of these troubled times a New World Order can emerge. … Today that New World Order is struggling to be born."
The Jerusalem Peace Accord
It appears that this coming world leader will rise to power on a wave of global euphoria as he arrives on the scene to temporarily save the world from armed conflicts and desperate economic and political woes. Like Satan himself, who appears as an angel of light, this man will deceive most of the world into thinking that he is a great man of peace, a hero. The prophet Daniel wrote of the Antichrist that "he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue" (Daniel 11:21).
Whether this world government he heads is already in power or rises to power at the time the document known in the Bible as the Holy Covenant is signed or not, we don't know for sure. What the Scriptures do state, though, is that this covenant will have a duration of seven years and will be pivotal to his claim to world leadership. This pact will resolve the Middle East crisis (at least temporarily), a seemingly impossible task that has eluded the best efforts by world leaders since the founding of Israel in 1948. He will do so by working out a compromise between the Israelis and the Palestinians regarding Jerusalem and its holy sites. A central issue will be Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, sacred to Jews (their temple stood there before being destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.), and sacred to Muslims (the Dome of the Rock, the third most revered shrine in Islam, stands there today). Scripture indicates that the Antichrist's covenant will enable the Jews to rebuild their temple, where they will revive their ancient rituals of animal sacrifice (Daniel 8:23-25; 9:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4). Much of the paraphernalia and building material for this temple have already been fabricated and stored, and the priests and temple attendants are already trained.
The prophet Ezekiel calls the Antichrist "Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal" (Ezekiel 38:2). Scholars agree that the ancient land referred to as Magog would appear to be a powerful country or region of peoples to the north of Israel. Although there was no such land called Russia in Ezekiel's day, the term "Rosh" is amazingly similar to Ros (also spelled Rus), the name given to the people that settled along the major rivers of the land now known as Russia, circa 700-800 A.D., and from which the terms Russia and Russians derive. Meshech and Tubal could be renderings of Moscow and Tobolsk, cities that weren't to exist for one to two thousand years from when Ezekiel lived. Moscow is the capital of Russia, and Tobolsk, until recent times, was the most important city of Siberia. Since the cities didn't yet exist, it would be understandable that Ezekiel used names that were familiar to him and similar in sound. For these reasons many Bible students believe that the Antichrist will rise out of Russia.
There are also indications in Scripture that the Antichrist will have something to do with Egypt (Daniel 8:22-26). Scripture also points to Europe, indicating that it will be a key player in the Antichrist's world government, whose leaders will fully unite behind him. "These are of one mind, and they shall give their power and authority to the Beast" (Revelation 17:13).
The Great Tribulation
Although most of the world will initially hail the Beast as a political savior, three and a half years after the enactment of the seven-year covenant, he will revoke the peace pact and show his true colors. At this time he apparently will invade Israel and establish himself in Jerusalem, making that city his world capital (Daniel 11:45).
His government will then outlaw all religions, except the worship of the Antichrist and an image of himself that will somehow be empowered to speak and "cause as many as would not worship [it] to be killed" (Revelation 13:14-15). Jesus said that when you see this image, the "abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place [temple] ... then there will be great tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of the world" (Matthew 24:15,21). Thus the name given to this period is the "Great Tribulation." It will be a time when the Beast and his regime will institute a ruthless repression and persecution of believers in God (Daniel 7:21,25; 8:23-24; 11:31-35; 12:7,10; Revelation 13:5-7).
It is at this time that the Antichrist government tries to impose the infamous "666" financial system globally. n
1. Johnston, Jerry. The Last Days of Planet Earth. Eugene, Or.: Harvest House Publishers, 1991, pp. 129-131.
Excerpted from The Future Foretold, by Michael Roy