Overarching the entire Tribulation period is the “unholy trinity” – Satan, the antichrist and the false prophet. Satan has always wanted to be God; to be worshipped by everyone as God. (Is 14:13) But Satan is the antithesis of God. God is the creator while Satan is the destroyer; God is love, Satan is hate; God is Truth while Satan is the lie and the father of all lies (John 8:44). Satan is allowed by God to empower the antichrist and the antichrist’s right-hand man, referred to as the false prophet. Between the three of them, they own the world and everyone in it.
These guys are like no one who’s ever tried to take over planet earth. No Babylonians, no Greeks, no Romans, no Suleiman the Magnificent, no Hitler. Here’s another thing to add to the “Why Now” column of things that add up to make Watcher’s believe we’re living the end times: it wouldn’t, couldn’t have been even possible to conquer and run the whole planet until the last decade or so. Too many logistical road blocks.
The antichrist starts out looking like the savior to a world spiraled out of control and he, too, wants to rule the planet, control everything and everyone and be worshiped by all as God. The God. As time goes on, the antichrist becomes more consumed with power and is gradually revealed as being evil, not good. At some point he is apparently assassinated but is healed from his fatal wound (Rev 13:13). It is at this point, perhaps, that he is actually indwelt by Satan.
The false prophet works with the antichrist, carries out his orders, and is able to work “signs and wonders” (2Thes 2:9) in the presence of the world. He insists that every single person receive a “mark” in his hand or forehead in order to buy and sell. Refusing to take the mark results in martyrdom; taking the mark results in loss of your soul. The False prophet installs an image of the antichrist into the Jewish Temple and demands people worship the image. The false prophet heads some kind of “religion” that everyone subscribes to. This religion is tied into the commerce on the planet and the men who run it. God refers to this system as the “whore of Babylon.” It encompasses the worship of money, and products, and power. This system is destroyed in a single hour. (Rev 18)
It seems that angels have always been involved in the major events of Biblical history: creation, era of the Patriarchs, the annunciation, ministering to Jesus. During the end times, they are especially busy. When Satan is finally thrown out of Heaven, he takes the fallen angels (Gen 6:1) – angels with him (Rev 9:1-2) and they assist him in causing pain and destruction. Those angels faithful to God are tasked with sharing the gospel, harvesting the faithful, announcing and executing the judgements (trumpets, bowls).
God does not leave mankind in the dark (literally and figuratively). Assuming there’s a Rapture of the faithful near the early part of the Tribulation, God still makes sure that people have an opportunity to know the Truth about Him. He has two witnesses who preach for 3½ years. These witnesses are hated by the inhabitants of the earth who rejoice greatly when they are finally murdered by the antichrist. (Rev 11)
God also has appointed 144,000 Messianic Jews – 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel – to spread the gospel. (Rev 7:1-8) We see all 144,000 of them standing with Jesus on Mt. Zion, so we know that they are all preserved alive through the period of the Tribulation. It’s really hard to imagine that ANYONE will be able to claim, “I didn’t know” given how many opportunities God has given mankind to know the Truth and to accept Him as Lord and Savior. People want to believe the lie. They have convinced themselves that truth is subjective and that they will never experience a wrathful God – if there is a God.
Today’s Church tends to paint Jesus as the gentle lamb, all loving, all forgiving all the time. More than once people studying prophecy have commented to me, “I don’t like this Jesus.” We don’t like to think of a judgmental, vengeful, extremely punishing God. But He warned us again and again that there are consequences to our choices. The end times are the fulfillment of what happens when we choose our way instead of His.
Next time we’ll look at the slippery slope of deception. How does mankind find itself in the throes of the ultimate deception? This is exactly what Jesus warned us to be on guard against. (Mt 24:4)
Please, neither offhandedly accept nor reject what is said in this blog. Check it out. Look it up for yourself in the Bible. If you are a child of God, you are in good hands and there is the most wonderful eternity waiting for you. If you are not a Christ follower, now is a really good time to honestly explore the truth claims of the Bible.