ESCHATOLOGY: The Anti-Christ
When the rapture ushers in the seven-year reign of believers with Jesus in the air, it will also herald the great tribulation or the coming of the Antichrist on the earth. As his name suggests, the Antichrist will work at cross-purposes with the plan of God for humanity. His tenure will be characterized by strange and ungodly activities. Peace will be removed from the earth for the revelation of that man of sin — Antichrist, Satan and his agents will terrorize the earth, leaving suffering and anguish in their trail.
God will use the Antichrist as a correcting rod and refining fire to purify the Jews in the second half of the great tribulation. The arrival of Roman Empire will precede the arrival of this man of sin from the empire’s Northern kingdom. He will break his peace treaty with Israel at the middle of His reign due to a desecration of the Jewish temple . The subsequent face-off will lead to a massacre of the Jews until they are rescued by the Messiah.
Purpose of the Anti-Christ – The coming of the Anti-christ will serve dual purposes:
(a) To prepare Israel for her Messiah.
(b) To execute judgement on unbelieving men and nations.
Activities of the Anti-Christ – The Antichrist, a diplomat of sorts, will flaunt a pseudo peace that will deceive Israel and other nations to make alliance with him at the inception of his reign. He will use his vast powers to oppose God and ensure that those without his mark, 666, will be excluded from the socio-economic activities in the world. These will lead to the:
- Wrath of God,
- Trial and trouble,
- Darkness and destruction,
- Desolation, and
- Overturning and punishment.
The period will be marked by false religion, apostasy, lawlessness and vices, signs and wonders, the destruction of “Mystery Babylon”, and the flight of Israel . The false prophet remains the arrowhead of these operations).
God will intervene – God will, however, not abandon mankind during the great tribulation. He will send two witnesses to remind the world of the word of God and His will. They will prophesy for 1,260 days or 3.5 years.
Their ministry will be powerful and anyone who will hurt them will be consumed by fire. At the end of their ministry, the beast will fight and kill them. The people will rejoice, but this will be short lived as the two witnesses are raised from the dead. Their ascension into heaven will be followed by an earthquake which will destroy many lives.
This tribulation period is also referred to as Daniel’s 70th week.