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Jesus is Coming Soon - Antichrist and 666
devotion by Sis. Bala Samson
Note: I have compiled this message from extracts taken from Bible teachers.
One of the striking revelations about the end times is a person whom the Bible calls "the man of lawlessness". Paul, in his letter to the Thessalonians, speaks of the antichrist when he says, "Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God" - 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4. The apostle John writes in his letter, "Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour" - 1 John 2:18.
Who is the antichrist, and what is his purpose? What role will he fill? There are several things that we could point out, but generally his main purpose is to acquire power and turn people away from God, directing worship toward himself. The way he will try to accomplish this will be by doing three main things. The first is: He will create a one world government. He is the anti-Christ. He is against Christ and everyone who belongs to him. He will be Satan's tool for corrupting the world and turning people away from God. He will be given power by Satan to accomplish his will. The Bible says, "The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders" - 2 Thessalonians 2:9. He is the false messiah who desires to replace and mock the rule of the true Messiah, Jesus Christ. In fact, we have here in Revelation 13 an evil trinity: Satan, symbolized by the dragon who is standing on the shore of the sea; the antichrist, symbolized by the beast that comes out of the sea; and the false prophet, the head of the one world religion the beast who arises out of the earth and causes people to worship the antichrist. Satan, the antichrist and false prophet: these three unite in a desperate attempt to establish their own government and overthrow the kingdom of God but their efforts will ultimately fail.
The reason given for the need of a one world government will be that problems like global terrorism and international conflict cannot be controlled by the United States alone, or any other nation. The growing problems of our global community will require a united government to handle these problems. The United Nations and its forces have been largely ineffective because of their limited jurisdiction, and the problems the world faces will call for increased authority and military power. The person who heads this organization will ultimately grow in power through personal charm and an increasing use of force. He will disguise his true motives in the beginning and greatly appeal to the masses.
Throughout history there have been many antichrists who have come before the final antichrist takes his seat of power. We can get some idea of what he will be like from those who have preceded him. The Bible says, "Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist" - 2 John 1:7. The antichrists of the world have always used the same methods: intimidation and persecution. Throughout the Old Testament the prophets were persecuted and put to death. In the New Testament, men like John the Baptist and Stephen were put to death.
The second thing the antichrist will do is: He will create a one world economy. We hear so much about the mark of the beast, which is 666. The book of Revelation says, "He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name" - Revelation 13:16-17. This mark is tied to people's ability to buy and sell. It is sort of an evil VISA bank card perhaps with three sets of six numbers. In order to have a bank account, and be able to buy and sell, you must have the mark of the beast. But in order to get the mark, you must worship the antichrist and display your loyalty to the government.
The proof of a person's loyalty to the antichrist will be receiving his mark. I said that it was something like a VISA card, but there are two problems with a credit card. One is proof of identity, and the other is theft or loss. There is one way to solve both problems: have a small electronic "smart" chip implanted under the skin on your hand or forehead, or both. Retail and grocery stores are already outfitted with scanners which could read something like this with a minor upgrade. After your purchases are rung up, you would simply place your hand in front of the scanner or stand in front of it. The world is quickly moving toward a cashless society. Already, some businesses will not accept cash. Someday, in the not too distant future, paper money will be out of date. The only way you will be able to purchase something is with a credit card that will also serve as your identification.
A national ID card is already in the works. It was made a priority because the terrorists who perpetrated the September 11 attacks used fake ID's.
The third thing the antichrist will do is: He will create a one world religion. As we march toward the end, there will be a growing call to unite all religions into one, under the guise of attempting to bring peace and unite the world. "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" - Acts 4:12. We cannot give up the truth in order just to get along. We must respect everyone and recognize that they have the right to believe anything they wish to believe, but we cannot give up our belief that "there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" - 1 Timothy 2:5. To say that the God we worship is the same as Allah, Krishna or any other god is ludicrous and a denial of the truth faith. And though this antichrist has the power of Satan behind him, and endeavors to rule through fear and intimidation, his doom is sure. Our confidence is built on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. The fate of the antichrist is spelled out in Scripture where it says, "And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming" - 2 Thessalonians 2:8.
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