Activated

World Government

By Scott MacGregor

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The most outstanding and ominous sign of the end of the world as we know it, to which the Bible devotes numerous chapters, is the rise of a Devil-possessed tyrant known as the Antichrist, or “the Beast,” who is given authority “over every tribe, tongue, and nation” (Revelation 13:7). Is the world heading towards a global government, as this verse seems to imply?

The idea of a world government has been discussed since ancient Greek and Roman times, and in the last few hundred years by such notables as Dante, Hugo Grotius, Immanuel Kant, Victor Hugo, Karl Krause, Alfred Tennyson, H. G. Wells, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Bertrand Russell, and Mahatma Gandhi. The decade or two after World War II is regarded as a sort of “golden age” of the movement for world government. Seventy-two million people died in that war, 47 million of them civilians, and a general revulsion against such barbarity led to many people embracing such things as the World Federalist Movement in the hope that a strong global body would not let the nations of the world go to war again like they had. The European Union (which now includes 27 nations, with more seeking admittance) had its beginnings at this time.

Now there is a European Parliament and a European Commission (which is in many ways similar to a cabinet), and if the EU reform treaty is ratified there will be an elected President of the European Council. Many of these nations are also members of NATO and have a common and somewhat integrated military structure. Eighteen countries (three are not even in the European Union) have now adopted the euro as a common currency.

The African Union (which includes 53 African nations) was formed in 2001 and aims eventually to have a single currency, a single integrated defense force, as well as other institutions of state, including a cabinet for the AU Head of State.

In 2004 the nations of South America signed the Cuzco Declaration, a two-page statement of intent, announcing the foundation of the South American Community, modeled after the European Union, including a common currency, parliament, and passport. According to Allan Wagner, former Secretary General of the Andean Community, a complete union like that of the EU should be possible by 2019.

The stated aim of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (comprised of 30 Asian countries, including the mega states of Russia, China, and India) is to ultimately transform the Asian continent into an Asian Community.

And then of course there is the United Nations (which is the only truly global organization, with 192 member states). Although seemingly impotent on many fronts, it still is the hub for many organizations that affect our lives, such as the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Commission, the International Labor Organization, UNESCO, the International Court of Justice (the World Court), the International Criminal Court, and the World Bank.

The globalization of the economy is now a reality, with each national economy—some to a very large extent—dependent on other nations’ economies. The mass media is also global through satellite TV and the Internet. In fact, the Internet is a virtual global community, with millions of its users living vicariously as avatars in global online “lives” in places like Second Life, not to mention global social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

The idea of global governance is also getting enthusiastic support. Global governance isn’t necessarily global government. In fact, its advocates will adamantly deny that global government is anywhere on their agenda. Their idea is that international agreements and protocols will govern international behavior. A good example of this approach is the United Nations Global Compact, which is an initiative to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies.

When you start looking into it, a multitude of international and supranational bodies, treaties, and protocols have at their core the idea of promoting regional and global cooperation and integration. Now even when taken as a whole, this all might seem to still be light years away from the formation of the world government that Revelation 13:7 implies. Consider, though, that as recently as 40 years ago few people took the idea of a European Union seriously. Some of those countries had been bitter enemies and fought untold wars for centuries, but look at them now. Perhaps a world government isn’t so far away after all.

In addition, Europe is a region that students of Endtime prophecy look to for signs of change in the directions foretold in the Bible. This interest is primarily generated by the visions of the Old Testament prophet Daniel, especially the vision recorded in chapter 7 of the book that bears his name. There he saw a dreadful ten-horned monster, which most Bible scholars agree symbolized the Roman Empire—ancient to us, but futuristic to Daniel. “I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one [identified in other passages as the Antichrist], coming up among them” (Daniel 7:8). Geographically the Roman Empire included a big slice of Europe, but perhaps even more importantly, Rome’s forms of government, law, heritage, and culture permeate that part of the world to this day. Those 10 horns make another appearance later in the Bible, on the last head of a seven-headed monster—the Beast of Revelation chapter 13. Could Europe be destined for such prominence in the Antichrist’s scheme of things?

Back to a global government. Will it happen? The Bible seems to indicate that it will. However, it seems it will have trouble remaining cohesive, as the Bible describes the Antichrist waging a number of wars with rebel nations.

In any case, two things are certain: Whatever happens, God will take care of His own, and if you are on His side, you will be on the winning side when the Antichrist comes to his ignominious end and Jesus Christ establishes His kingdom of love and peace on Earth. Then we will have global government, but it will be the best one imaginable, where everyone can be truly happy.

 

 

 

World Government

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Answers to Your Questions: Starting an exercise program

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Q: I want to get in better shape, but don’t know where to start. How much exercise is enough? What type of exercise is best, and how much time do I need to spend on it?

A: The answers to those questions depend on a number of factors, including your age, general health, present fitness level, and metabolism. There are, however, a few general guidelines for a successful exercise program.

  • Find one or more forms of exercise that you enjoy, because then you’re more likely to stick with it.
  • Start slow, with modest goals, and build up gradually. You can’t become fit from one day to the next. Expecting too much too soon is likely to result in injury and discouragement.
  • Your program should combine cardiovascular exercise* to strengthen the respiratory system with resistance exercise** to strengthen muscles and bones.
  • It needs to be regular (at least four times a week).
  • It needs to be for an extended period of time (build up to 40-60 minutes).
  • It needs to be vigorous enough to get your heart pumping and make you break a sweat.
  • Warm up at the beginning of your exercise routine, and cool down at the end.
  • Inform yourself. Understand the benefits and potential risks of the specific exercises you’d like to do. Get your information from respected sources, shy away from sources that advocate extremes, and balance the advice given by several sources, when possible.
  • Have a plan. Choose your forms of exercise, make a realistic plan, and stick to it.
  • Change your routine from time to time. Your body adapts to any form of exercise over time, and then that exercise loses some of its benefits.
  • If you are over 40, seriously overweight or out of shape, or suffering from a medical condition, consult your doctor before starting on a new exercise program.

 

 

  • Cardiovascular exercise, also called aerobic exercise or “cardio” for short, is any activity that gets your heart beating at 60-80% of its maximum rate for a period of time—at least 20 minutes, as a general rule. To calculate your maximum heart rate on the safe side, subtract your age from 220.

 

** Resistance exercise is any activity that brings weight to bear on your muscles, bones, and joints by means of weight-training equipment (barbells, dumbbells, weight machines, etc.) or body weight (pushups, pull-ups, sit-ups, etc.). Resistance exercise is even more important when you get older and bone and muscle loss occur naturally, if not combated. Choose exercises that target each major muscle group once or twice each week. Unless you have special needs or are an amateur or professional bodybuilder, three 20- to 30-minute routines each week is enough to strengthen bones and tone muscles.
 

 

 

Answers to Your Questions…

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Food for Thought: The Downside of TV

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Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your home.
—David Frost (1939– ), British television personality, CBS Television

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I’m always amazed that people will actually choose to sit in front of the television and just be savaged by stuff that belittles their intelligence.
—Alice Walker (1944– ), U.S. novelist and poet, 1989

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Television was the ultimate evidence of cultural anemia.
—Roy A. K. Heath (1926– ), Guyanese novelist and teacher, Kwaku

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Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other.
—Ann Landers (born Esther Pauline Friedman; 1918-2002), U.S. columnist

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Don’t you wish there were a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence? There’s one marked “Brightness,” but it doesn’t work.
—Gallagher (born Leo Anthony Gallagher; 1947– ), U.S. comedian

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Television’s perfect. You turn a few knobs, a few of those mechanical adjustments at which the higher apes are so proficient, and lean back and drain your mind of all thought. And there you are watching the bubbles in the primeval ooze. You don’t have to concentrate. You don’t have to react. You don’t have to remember. You don’t miss your brain because you don’t need it.
—Raymond Chandler (1888-1959), U.S. writer

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Time sidles by: on television
The soaps dissolve, the jingles change.
Defeat or pity or derision
Constricts our hearts. Our looks grow strange
Even to us.
—Vikram Seth (1952– ), Indian novelist and poet, The Golden Gate

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We are bombarded today by such a quantity of images that we can no longer distinguish direct experience from what we have seen for a few seconds on television. The memory is littered with bits and pieces of images, like a rubbish dump.
—Italo Calvino (1923-1985), Cuban-born Italian novelist and short-story writer, Six Memos for the Next Millennium “Visibility” (Patrick Creagh [translator])

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Each day a few more lies eat into the seed with which we are born, little institutional lies from the print of newspapers, the shock waves of television, and the sentimental cheats of the movie screen.
—Norman Mailer (1923– ), U.S. novelist and journalist, Advertisements for Myself, “First Advertisement for Myself”

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Television is a gift of God, and God will hold those who utilize His divine instrument accountable to Him.
—Philo T. Farnsworth (1906-1971), U.S. inventor and television pioneer

 
 

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You Are What You “Eat”

Based on the writings of David Brandt Berg

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Somebody once said, “You are what you read.” It’s like the saying about health, “You are what you eat,” physically. Well, you are what you read, mentally and spiritually. And the same is true of movies, TV, music, and other forms of input, like the Internet and computer games. Tell me what kind of input someone enjoys most, and I can usually tell what that person’s spiritual condition is like.

God created people with a spiritual hunger for truth—insights and ideas that will feed their souls, bring them closer to Him by helping them better understand Him and His loving ways, and inspire them to live better lives. But sad to say, a lot of people today have developed perverted spiritual appetites through reading and viewing the wrong kinds of things, similar to what happens when people develop an appetite for junk food and sweets, and lose their appetite for good wholesome food.

It reminds me of the following verses from the Bible: “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance” (Isaiah 55:2), and, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life” (John 6:27).

The portrayal of attitudes and actions that are contrary to the way God wants us to think and act really does have an effect on people, whether they like to admit that or not. Filling their minds and hearts with lies and half-truths will eat away at their spirits, even if they are only reading or viewing for relaxation or entertainment. Multiply that effect a few million times, and it has the same bad effect on society. The world today is proof of that!

 
Discern and Discriminate

Everything that you take into your mind affects your spirit. Movies, music, books, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, and the Internet are all mediums for conveying a message, and that message is either inspired by God and in line with His Word, or it’s not.

Much of what’s out there today is what the Bible calls “cunningly devised fables” (2 Peter 1:16)—cunningly inspired not by God, but by the dark side to deceive people, lead them astray, and numb them spiritually to where they no longer know what is true or right.

Reading the wrong kind of books or watching the wrong kind of movies does not make people wise! It leaves them dumber and more confused and further from the truth than ever! The wisdom of this world is absolute foolishness to God (1 Corinthians 3:19).

People eat junk food because it looks like food and is tasty, but enough of it will eventually kill them. That’s why it’s so dangerous—because it’s so deceptive. And the same is true of junk reading and viewing.

The Devil is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). And let me tell you, his lies are very clever! Part of what he says is always true, because he couldn’t get people to believe his lies unless he told some truth along with them. He mixes in little truths, like he did with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. When he tempted them to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he told them, “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). What a tempting truth that was—and they swallowed it! (Genesis 3:6).

 
How About You?

It is not wrong to sometimes read or watch for relaxation, but if you aren’t choosey about what input you receive, if you don’t guard yourself against ungodly input, it will be more draining to your spirit than beneficial. “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

Even books and movies and other things that are mostly good can influence you adversely if you don’t make a conscious effort to focus on the positive and reject the negative, either during or after your reading or viewing. The Bible says to “eschew [abstain from] evil, and do good” (1 Peter 3:11, KJV)—a verse that applies not only to what we do, but also what we take in, since that will ultimately affect our actions.

You also need to make sure you’re getting filled up with the truth of God’s Word to counteract any bad influences that whatever else you’ve been reading or watching may have on you. “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

There is a saying about prayer: “You believe in prayer as much as you pray.” I would say the same about God’s Word and worldly input: You believe the Word as much as you read it, or you believe in that other stuff as much as you take it in. I hope that you are getting good spiritual food, because your spiritual health and happiness depend on it. You are what you take in!

 
 

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Endtime Insights: The Rise, Reign, and Wars of the Antichrist—Daniel 11

By Joseph Candel

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The prophecies of Daniel chapter 11 cover events that span more than 2,000 years—all the way from Alexander the Great to the coming would-be world dictator known as the Antichrist. Much of this chapter is very clear, such as its descriptions of certain characteristics of the Antichrist and his government, but other parts, such as the descriptions of the wars the Antichrist will wage to try to seize and hold power, are still mysteries. As with some other passages of Bible prophecy concerning the Endtime, we may not fully understand these until the events happen or are about to happen. We can speculate now, but we need to be careful to not get dogmatic. We need to leave ourselves open to other interpretations, as the Lord reveals them.

Daniel chapter 10 sets the stage for chapter 11. In about 538 bc, during the reign of Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, Daniel had been fasting for three weeks when an angelic messenger appeared to him (Daniel 10:1-6). “I have come”—the messenger is speaking—“to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days”—the Endtime—“for the vision refers to many days yet to come” (Daniel 10:14).

The part of the vision that has to do with the Endtime begins at Daniel 11:21: “[There] shall arise a vile person, to whom they [the predecessors of the coming world government] will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue.”

The Antichrist is described here as a “vile person” because that is how God sees him. At this point, however, he will have the people of the world duped into believing that he is wonderful—their savior. What “they will not give [him] the honor of royalty” means is unclear, but it could be that he will exercise absolute rule in the style of ancient kings, but without the title. He rises to power peaceably, by means of intrigue—clever plotting and politics. The King James Version of the Bible uses the term “flatteries” in the place of “intrigue.” This would seem to indicate that he will use diplomacy and charm to weasel his way to power.

 
Daniel 11:22—The first Antichrist war?

Verse 22: “With the force of a flood they [the Antichrist’s adversaries] shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant.”

The Antichrist rises to power peaceably, but then uses force to crush his opposition and strengthen his position. This could be war, the threat of war, or the preponderance of arms, but “the force of a flood” sounds a lot like war.

The phrase “and also the prince of the covenant” means that the Antichrist is also the prince of the covenant, not that the prince of the covenant is also broken. We know from Daniel 9:26-27 that the Antichrist makes a peace covenant (see below), and therefore the prince of the covenant is clearly the Antichrist.

Verse 23: “After the league [covenant, pact, or treaty] is made with him [the Antichrist, the prince of the covenant] he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people.”

The Antichrist is also referred to as the prince of the covenant earlier, in Daniel 9:26-27: “The prince who is to come … shall confirm a covenant with many for one week [one seven-year period].” The signing of this covenant signals the start of the last seven years before Jesus’ Second Coming and the Rapture.

This league or covenant appears to be a peace accord, as well as some sort of religious pact—possibly one that tackles the thorny issue of coexistence between Jews, Muslims, and Christians in the Mideast, and by which Jerusalem could be declared an international city with free and equal access guaranteed to people of all faiths. This covenant could also clear the way for the Jews to finally be able to rebuild their Temple on Jerusalem’s Mount Moriah and resume animal sacrifices on its altar—something that hasn’t happened since the last Temple was destroyed in 70 ad. (In Daniel 11:31, the Antichrist puts a stop to the daily sacrifices, so obviously they must be resumed between now and then, and the signing of the covenant seems a likely time for that.)

Although the first war of the Antichrist appears to take place before the seven-year covenant is signed (verses 22-23), it does not specify who the Antichrist is warring against. If this war is centered in the Mideast, as some speculate, it is likely to involve Israel and the large U.S. military presence in the region.

“He [the Antichrist] shall act deceitfully.” He will be very clever and deceptive, “for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people”—or “a small people,” as the Hebrew ma’ at is translated in the King James Version. This could mean that the Antichrist rises to power through his popularity with the “small” or poor people of the world, the masses, due to his political and economic policies, or that he does it with the help of a “small” elite group of insiders.

Verse 24: “He shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places of the province; and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers: he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time.”

“He shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches” sounds like he will distribute the wealth to win the support of the poor in the countries he conquers. So does the phrase found in verse 39, where it says he will “divide the land for gain”—possibly meaning political gain. “He shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers.” Throughout history, very few conquerors have distributed the wealth or divided the land among the poor. The notable exception is communism. Perhaps he will ride the wave of a resurrected move toward world communism.

 
Daniel 11:25-26—The second Antichrist war?

The Antichrist’s military adversary comes into the picture in verse 25: “He [the Antichrist] shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the South with a great army. And the king of the South shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army, but he shall not stand, for they [the Antichrist and his forces] shall devise plans against him.”

It sounds like the king of the South has an even greater force than the Antichrist at this point. Again, if this war is centered in the Mideast, it is likely to involve Israel and the U.S. forces in the region.

Verse 26: “Yes, those who eat of the portion of his delicacies shall destroy him; his army shall be swept away, and many shall fall down slain.”

The tide of battle turns when the king of the South is betrayed by some of his own people, perhaps as a result of the Antichrist’s plans mentioned in the previous verse.

This war probably takes place after the signing of the covenant (verses 22-23), but before it is broken and the Great Tribulation begins (three and a half years after the covenant is signed), since those events don’t happen in this account until verse 31.

Verse 27: “Both these kings’ hearts shall be bent on evil, and they shall speak lies at the same table; but it shall not prosper, for the end will still be at the appointed time.”

Apparently the Antichrist fights one war to get into power and makes the covenant (verses 22-23), fights another war with the king of the South (verses 25-26), and then the two sides go through the motions of making peace—possibly reaffirming allegiance to the covenant.

Verse 28: “While returning to his land with great riches, his heart shall be moved against the holy covenant; so he shall do damage [“exploits” in KJV] and return to his own land.”

The Antichrist doesn’t break the seven-year covenant at this point, but he is about to, ostensibly because others aren’t keeping it.

 
Daniel 11:29-31—The third Antichrist war?

Verse 29: “At the appointed time he [the Antichrist] shall return and go toward the south; but it shall not be like the former or the latter.”

It’s somehow going to be different this time, but again it sounds like war because it says in the next verse…

Verse 30: “Ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage. So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant.”

“From Cyprus” could mean “from the direction of Cyprus”—from the west, in other words.

Verse 31: “Forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.”

This is a key verse because, together with Daniel 9:27, it tells us that three and a half years after confirming the seven-year covenant, the Antichrist will break it when he forcibly enters the Jewish Temple (soon to be rebuilt on Mount Moriah, Jerusalem), “takes away the daily sacrifice,” and places there something called the “abomination of desolation” (also referred to in Revelation chapter 13 as the “image of the Beast”).

Five hundred years after Daniel gave this prophecy, when Jesus’ disciples asked Him what would be the signs of His return and of the end of the world, He cited this development. “When you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place … then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:3,15,21).

It seems that three wars precede the breaking of the seven-year covenant—one before it is made, one at some point during the first three and a half years, and one that ends with the breaking of the covenant.

 
Tribulation tyranny and triumphs

Verses 32 through 35 deal with the next three and a half years—after the covenant is broken: “Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.”

Although much of the world will continue to follow the Antichrist, some people are going to be desperate for the truth, and those who know God’s Word and are faithful witnesses for the Lord are going to teach and encourage millions.

“The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” In spite of all that the Devil’s forces will do to try to stop them, millions of God’s children will keep going for Him till the very end.

Verses 36 and 37: “Then the king [Antichrist] shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all.”

The Antichrist is going to be so full of pride that he will try to exalt himself above everyone and every “god”—even the one true God Himself. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 says the Antichrist will oppose and exalt himself “above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

The Antichrist “shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done.” Revelation 13:5 parallels this statement, and also tells us how long this will go on: “And he [the Beast, or Antichrist] was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months [three and a half years].”

Verse 38: “But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses [or “god of forces,” as the Hebrew ma’ owz is translated in the King James Version]; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things.”

This “god of forces” could be armaments, and the fact that the Antichrist will honor this god with “gold and silver” could refer to his military spending. That’s nothing new, because even the empires of Daniel’s day made a “god” of power and spent much of their empires’ revenue on armaments and maintaining their armies. What is new in the last couple of generations is nuclear arms—”a god which his fathers did not know.”

Verse 39: “Thus he [the Antichrist] shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.”

This “foreign god” could turn out to be the image of the Beast, which is described in Revelation 13:14-15: “He [the Antichrist’s false prophet] deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the Beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the Beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the Beast, that the image of the Beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the Beast to be killed.”

This image is likely to be an incredibly high-tech supercomputer accessing massive unified databases containing detailed personal information on most of the world’s population and linked to the Antichrist’s telecommunications network. Through the image of the Beast, a universal economic and financial system will be instituted. The number 666 will somehow be central to this system.

Revelation 13:16-18: “He [again, the Antichrist’s false prophet] causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the Beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the Beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

 
Daniel 11:40-42—The fourth Antichrist war?

Verse 40: “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through.”

This war takes place during the three-and-a-half-year Great Tribulation—probably near the end because the Antichrist meets his end just a few verses later—and is once again fought between the king of the North (the Antichrist) and the enigmatic king of the South (possibly U.S.-backed Israel). Daniel could only use terms he was familiar with to describe the modern warfare he saw in this vision—tanks and personnel carriers as chariots, massive air strikes as a whirlwind, and so on.

Verse 41: “He [the Antichrist] shall also enter the Glorious Land [Israel], and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon.”

Edom, Moab, and Ammon are contained in modern-day Jordan.

Verse 42: “He shall stretch out his hand against the countries [that sided with the king of the South], and the land of Egypt shall not escape.”

Verse 43: “He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels.

“He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver” indicates that the Antichrist will hold economic control, which we also know to be the case from Revelation 13:16-18 and other passages. “The Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels” means that these countries will be subservient to the Antichrist.

 
Daniel 11:44—The fifth Antichrist war?

Verse 44: “But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many.”

That sounds like either another war, or a continuation of the war described in verses 40 through 42, and probably happens near the end of the Tribulation. If this is another war—the fifth war of the Antichrist—it seems it is against eastern nations.

“News from the north” could mean a threatened coup or other problems of dissent in his own country, or possibly troubling developments in North America.

“He shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many.” This could be the war—possibly nuclear—in which the Antichrist and his allies obliterate “Babylon,” as described in Revelation 14:8; 17:16; and chapter 18. This war probably takes place not long before Jesus’ return and the Rapture.

Verse 45: “And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.”

The “glorious holy mountain” is Jerusalem’s Mount Moriah. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the Antichrist waits until this point to set up his headquarters on Mount Moriah; it’s just an acknowledgment of what he most likely did three and a half years earlier when he broke the covenant, placed the image of the Beast in the Temple area (Daniel 11:30-31), sat in the Temple claiming to be God, and abolished all religions other than worship of himself (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)—these events triggering the Great Tribulation.

“Yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.” At Megiddo, overlooking the plains of Armageddon in northern Israel, the Antichrist musters his armies for his greatest campaign against the nations that still oppose him, but Jesus and His heavenly army, including the resurrected believers from throughout the ages, intercede by returning to earth and utterly destroying the Antichrist and his forces at the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty (Revelation 16:12-16; 19:11-21). He then ushers in 1,000 years of peace on earth—a period known as the Millennium. The happy beginning!

 
 

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666 Watch: New Technology and the Coming “Mark of the Beast”

By Joseph Candel

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Can you imagine a world in which any store, restaurant, or other business you enter is able to identify you, make note of what you’re wearing, and even detect how much money you have in your wallet? Science fiction?—Not for long! Believe it or not, one day soon radio frequency identification (RFID) technology could be identifying, screening, and tracking us all.

RFID “tags” use radio frequencies to transmit a code that uniquely identifies the tag. The silicon chips that hold RFID tags—some no bigger than a grain of salt—are small enough that they could be placed in clothing, razor blades, library books, and even currency.

RFID readers within 15 or 20 feet of some tags can pick up their signals. Global databases will let businesses keep track of every location where an RFID signal has been read.

How might the tags identify you? If, for example, you buy a sweater using a credit card, your name could be forever linked with that particular item of clothing.

That’s what worries privacy advocates—the ease with which companies can read the tags and keep logs, identifying and profiling consumers long after the tagged products those consumers bought leave the store. Privacy advocates and civil libertarians also say the technology designed for tracking clothing items at a very short range can easily be adapted to tracking and spying on people, just as software “cookies” now track computer users’ movements online.

With little public fanfare, this new RFID technology is rolling out on a massive scale. Alien Technology, an RFID tag maker, projects that within three years the company will sell 10 billion RFID tags a year, and that the cost of a single tag will drop below US$0.05—cheap enough that they may start to appear in most products. Wal-Mart, the world largest retailer, has mandated the use of the RFID tagging by its suppliers on all their products since 2005, and many other large retail outfits have since followed Wal-Mart’s lead.

Another technology to keep an eye on is the new Electronic Product Code (EPC). Hailed as the next-generation product code system, EPC could someday replace with a microchip the bar code (Universal Product Code, or UPC) found on most merchandise today.

Whereas bar codes only identify groups of products, the EPC is designed to provide a unique serial number for every item in the system. For example, at present all cans of Coke produced at a certain bottling plant or within a certain country have the same bar code. Under EPC, each and every bottle or can of Coke would have its own unique identifier. Impossible, you say? The EPC is built around a 96-bit format that is large enough to generate a unique code for every grain of rice on the planet.

Retailers and manufacturers think a one-of-a-kind product code could help reduce theft and counterfeit goods, and simplify the inventory process.

The way it’s been designed, an EPC can be linked to databases that can store far more information about a particular product than is possible with the current bar code system. In addition to the basic information provided by UPC—item, price, and manufacturer—the EPC could link to information about the buyer and location of the item based on a complex system of microchip tags and microchip readers that communicate via radio frequency (RFID).

And RFID tags aren’t just for goods found in supermarkets and malls. Applied Digital Solutions (ADS) of Palm Beach, Florida, is hoping that Americans can be persuaded to implant RFID chips under their skin to identify themselves when going to a cash machine or in place of using a credit card. The surgical procedure, which is performed with local anesthetic, embeds a 12-by-2 mm RFID tag in the flesh of a human arm. ADS even ran a special promotion urging Americans to “get chipped.” The first 100,000 people to sign up were offered a $50 discount.

And why shouldn’t you get chipped? That way you could simply walk into a store, pick up the items you want, stroll through the reader on your way out of the store, and the cost of the items would automatically be charged to your credit account. Not only that, but all the information regarding your purchases would be beamed to the manufacturers, who would be ever so happy to send you special offers on future purchases, or even to stock you up on their products at prearranged times, billing you automatically.

The system would also put an end to shoplifting and other forms of theft and fraud, as there would be no cash or credit cards to steal and every item would be linked to its rightful owner. There would be far fewer criminals and drug dealers (again, no cash), and society would be much better off.—Or would it? It seems benign—even beneficial—but what about its potential to track your every physical and financial move?

The new technology is preparing the public, and it won’t be long till the mother of all silicon chips is ready for its debut—the mark of the Beast, as predicted in the Bible. “He [the False Prophet, top minister in the Antichrist’s government] causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on [or ‘in’] their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the Beast [the Antichrist], or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the Beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666” (Revelation 13:16-18).

When the mark of the Beast comes, don’t be duped into taking it!

 
 

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Endtime Insights: The Coming Cashless Society

By Joseph Candel

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New technology for a cashless society is marching right in step with other moves toward the coming Antichrist world government. We often hear about the “New World Order” and the “global community”—buzzwords that are helping prepare the world for a new international financial and political system, a society controlled by networked computers containing a database of information on nearly everyone—as Revelation chapter 13 appears to have predicted nearly 2,000 years ago!

The switch to electronic commerce has been slow and gradual. People like the speed and convenience of electronic commerce, but they are also comfortable with the way things have been all their lives. For hundreds of years, the world has operated on cash—bills and coins that are tangible and give people a sense of truly possessing. In that respect, the world hasn’t changed much in thousands of years, since coins were first minted. Many people are still uneasy with the idea of a computerized card or chip linking them to their invisible wealth. Cash is still the way.

As the time draws nearer, the Antichrist must speed up the move toward a cashless economy by proving to the world that it needs his “mark of the Beast” or “666” financial system (Revelation 13:16-18). To do that, he will use crisis after crisis in the nations of the world. One will be a near-global economic crash—the recession of all recessions. He will use this crash to overcome the inertia of the status quo. Without such radical intervention, people change their ways too slowly to suit his purposes and fit his time frame.

Other factors and developments will also make this new economic system seem necessary. Governments will embrace it as a means of cracking down on crime and cutting government spending by cutting bureaucracy. Businesses will embrace it as a means of instant payment and automated inventory and accounting, cutting their expenses and thereby increasing their profits. The masses will embrace it for its speed, convenience, security, and ease. There will be many apparent advantages.

The Antichrist will also prepare the world for it in other ways—through wars, civil disorders, and fears of such things as terrorism and epidemics of new, incurable diseases. All these happenings will make people desperate for change. Eventually they will be ready to toss out the old and embrace the new. It’s already happened in a big way in the area of technology, and is now happening with commerce.

The Antichrist will introduce a new monetary system, whereby he will profess to fix the world’s economic woes. Those who want to be a part of his new economy and society will be compelled to receive the “mark of the Beast” in their hand or forehead—probably in the form of a tiny computerized chip bearing all their personal, financial, and medical information. Big Brother and the New World Order will thereby be able to monitor everyone’s every move.

In fact, a few people have already taken the step of receiving computer chip implants. Chipping of people began quietly in the U.S. in May 2002, with the chipping of the Jacobs family. This otherwise normal family of four and several other volunteers had unique identifier chips—VeriChips—injected under their skin. The VeriChip, produced and marketed by Applied Digital Solutions, is about the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen and can be read by a handheld VeriChip scanner. How long will it be till this chipping of people becomes the norm and widely used to facilitate daily business such as shopping and banking?

One thing is certain: A global cashless economy and a totally monitored and controlled society are in the making. Fiber optics, satellites, and computer databases have the potential to control the world in a way that boggles the imagination.

Many governments and private corporations worldwide are already pursuing policies to eliminate cash and checks, while many other countries are testing various methods of doing business without physical currency.

The town of Swindon, England, started to go cashless in July 1995. In a joint venture, the National Westminster and Midland banks and British Telecommunications test-marketed a plastic/silicon cash substitute. This system uses Mondex cards that are similar to ATM cards, but contain sophisticated computer chips. Monetary transfers can be done by phone or a small wireless device called a “wallet.”

France moved one step closer to a cashless future with a nationwide launch in 2003 of computerized “smart cards,” dubbed Moneo. The idea behind this new breed of microchip-embedded plastic card is simple­—to dispense with pocket change and speed smaller transactions.

In Japan, 650,000 electronic purses known as Edy cards are in circulation and can be used at about 2,100 stores, mainly in the Tokyo area. The plan is for these cards, which store the bearer’s financial information, to eventually be used anywhere. What makes these different from credit or debit cards is that they do not need to be swiped through a card reader and the bearer’s identity doesn’t need to be verified by a cashier. All the bearer has to do is hold the card up to a sensor that reads the information.

Prosperous Singapore is planning to do away with “old-fashioned money”.

“[The Antichrist’s government] causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on [or in] their right hand or on [in] their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16-17). For the first time, the hi-tech means of fulfilling the chilling vision the apostle John received nearly 2000 years ago is here!

Are you ready for these great and final events of the end? You can get ready now by receiving Jesus into your heart and taking time to study what the Bible has to say about Endtime events, including the coming Antichrist world dictatorship. Then you won’t be caught by surprise when they happen, or duped into following the Antichrist.

 
 

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God Was the First to Know!

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Some say that the Bible is full of scientific inaccuracies, but the fact of the matter is that numerous truths about our world were in the writings that now make up the Bible hundreds or even thousands of years before science “discovered” them.

For example, it wasn’t until around the time of Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) that science established that the earth was spherical and hung in space, but the Hebrew prophet Isaiah wrote in about 700 bc that God “sits above the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22). About 3,000 years before Columbus, it was written in the book of Job that God “stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing” (Job 26:7). Also, when Jesus spoke of His Second Coming, He referred to a night scene (men sleeping), a morning scene (women grinding), and a midday scene (workers in the field) happening simultaneously (Luke 17:34-36). This, of course, is an in­direct reference to a spherical earth.

Galileo (1564-1642) was the first to “discover” that the number of stars is uncountable—a fact that has been clearly established by modern scientists, who now estimate the number of stars in the “billions and billions.” The Greek astronomer Ptolemy (100?–170 ad) had said there were 1056. Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) counted 1005. The Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) counted 777. Twenty-two centuries before Galileo, the prophet Jeremiah said, “The host of heaven cannot be numbered” (Jeremiah 33:22).

In 1643, with the invention of the barometer, Evangelista Toricelli discovered a way to measure the atmospheric air pressure and thereby proved that air has weight. In what is believed to be the oldest book in the Bible, Job is quoted as saying that God “establishes weight for the wind” (Job 28:25).

Jet streams—the strong permanent high-altitude wind currents that have a major bearing on weather systems—were discovered by science in the 19th century. Nearly 3,000 years earlier, King Solomon wrote, “The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north; the wind whirls about continually, and comes again on its circuit” (Ecclesiastes 1:6).

The Bible also described the water cycle many centuries before it was clearly delineated by science. “He [God] draws up drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist, which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man” (Job 36:27-28). “All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; to the place from which the rivers come, there they return again” (Ecclesiastes 1:7).

The true relationship between science and the Bible is perhaps best summed up in the words of British astronomer John Herschel (1792-1871): “All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more and more strongly the truth contained in the sacred Scriptures.”

 
 

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Signs of the Times: The Middle East Crisis

By Joseph Candel

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A major source of contention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a hilltop in Jerusalem that Jews call the Temple Mount and Muslims call Al-Haram al-Sharif, or “the Noble Sanctuary.” The site is sacred to Jews as the location of the former Jewish Temple, last destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., and never rebuilt since. It is also one of the three most important shrines in Islam.

Today, Al-Haram al-Sharif encloses over 35 acres—nearly one-sixth of the old walled city of Jerusalem. Al-Aqsa Mosque stands at its southernmost end, and the smaller Muslim shrine, the Dome of the Rock, at its center. Muslims regard the entire area as holy. The sovereignty of the site and the status of Jerusalem are two of the greatest obstacles to lasting peace in the region.

Recent evidence of this is how a September 2000 visit to the site by then opposition leader Ariel Sharon, accompanied by hundreds of Israeli troops and riot police, sparked the worst series of riots and clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in over a decade.

What will happen in Jerusalem—and on the Temple Mount, in particular—is also the subject of several key prophecies in the Bible about the days in which we are living. In order to understand current events and know what to expect next, it’s important to understand these prophecies that deal specifically with the Temple Mount.

 
The prophecies

When Jesus told His disciples what signs would lead up to His Second Coming, He referred to a prophecy in the Old Testament book of Daniel, written over 500 years earlier: “When you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place … then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:15,21).

The prophecy Jesus was referring to says: “And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation” (Daniel 11:31).

What Jesus called the “holy place” and Daniel called the “sanctuary fortress” (or “sanctuary of strength,” as the King James Version words it) is the Jewish Temple area.

The “him” in Daniel’s prophecy is the soon coming world dictator known as the Antichrist (also called “the Beast” in the Bible’s book of Revelation).

“Daily sacrifices” refers to the ritual of Jewish faith in which the blood or flesh of a specified animal is offered in the Temple to God as a substitute payment for sin. This primary ritual of the Jewish faith was suspended when the second Temple was destroyed.

The “abomination of desolation” appears to be an image or large statue of the Antichrist.

The “great tribulation” Jesus spoke of is the last three and a half years before His return, when the Antichrist will officially abolish all religions other than worship of himself and will persecute believers of all faiths. This will spark rebellions against his regime, which he will brutally attempt to suppress.

Obviously some things need to happen before these prophecies can be fulfilled.

The Jews have not sacrificed animals to God since their Temple was last destroyed in 70 A.D., and the only place where they would consider resuming sacrificial worship is on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem—the site now occupied by the Muslims’ Dome of the Rock.

Before the Antichrist can take away the daily sacrifices, sacrifices must resume. Before the sacrifices can resume, there must be a Jewish Temple. For the Temple to be rebuilt, something has got to give. Either the Dome of the Rock must come down, or the Jews must agree to rebuild their Temple elsewhere—possibly on another part of the Temple Mount. With both sides refusing to budge on the issue of sovereignty over the Temple Mount, it would take a superman to broker a deal.

 
Enter the Antichrist

“This king [the Antichrist] will make a seven-year treaty with the people, but after half that time, he will break his pledge and stop the Jews from all their sacrifices and their offerings” (Daniel 9:27 TLB).

This seven-year treaty is referred to again in Daniel 11:28-31—the same passage that Jesus referred to—as a “holy covenant” because it has to do with religion. It will most likely be a pact between the Antichrist, the Jews, the Muslims, and the Christians by which Jerusalem is declared an international city, with free and equal access guaranteed to people of all faiths.

The Jews will finally be able to rebuild their Temple and reinstate sacrificial worship, and for three and a half years things will seem to get better. Apparently the Antichrist will also make Jerusalem the capital of his one-world government, because the Bible says that eventually he will run things from the Jewish Temple (2 Thessalonians 2:4).

“But in the middle of the week [seven years] he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering” (Daniel 9:27). Then, in that holy place, the Temple area, the world government will erect some kind of “living” image of the Antichrist (possibly a computer of some sort), the abomination of desolation, and demand that the whole world worship the image or be killed (Revelation 13:14-15).

“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day [the Second Coming of Jesus Christ] will not come unless … the man of sin [the Antichrist] is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

 
The long-term forecast

The world situation—particularly in the Middle East—is going to continue to get worse until the Covenant is signed. Then things are going to appear to get better for a while under the false messiah, the Antichrist. Then things will get much worse during the Great Tribulation. But after the Tribulation, when Jesus returns to rescue His own and whisk them off to Heaven, things are going to be the best ever for those who have received Him as their Savior! That’s what we will need to hold on to as things get worse—the promised happy ending!

 
 

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Profile of a Despot: Characteristics of the Coming World Dictator and False Messiah, the Antichrist

By Joseph Candel

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The world is waiting for a superman to come and put an end to the wars and armed conflicts, religious squabbles, and political and economic instability. And according to the Bible, just such a superman will soon appear on the world scene—a man who will be the Devil incarnate, who the Bible calls the Beast and the Antichrist. Numerous Bible passages describe some of the Antichrist’s personal characteristics. Pieced together like the criminologist’s composite sketch of a suspect, they can help us recognize this man when he begins to rise to power, so we won’t be duped into following him.

 
1. The Antichrist will be intrinsically evil, yet appear as a savior.

He is variously described in the Bible as “a vile person,” “the man of sin,” “the son of perdition [Hell],” and “the wicked one.”

“[There] shall stand up a vile person … he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries” (Daniel 11:21 KJV). Some versions use the word “intrigue” here, in place of or in addition to “flattery.”

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [the Second Coming of Jesus Christ] shall not come, except … that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3 KJV).

“Then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall … destroy with the brightness of His coming [at the Battle of Armageddon]” (2 Thessalonians 2:8 KJV).

“Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers [such as the Antichrist] also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their [evil] works” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15 KJV).

 
2. The Antichrist will be outspoken and have great speaking ability.

“He shall speak great [pompous] words against the Most High” (Daniel 7:25 KJV).

“He was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies” (Revelation 13:5).

 
3. The Antichrist will have a fierce countenance.

“In the latter time [the Endtime, just prior to Jesus’ return] … when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up” (Daniel 8:23 KJV).

The prophet Daniel also describes him as a man “whose appearance was greater than his fellows” (Daniel 7:20). Other translations render this phrase “more stout than his fellows,” or “more imposing than his fellows.”

 
4. The Antichrist will be extremely proud.

“The king [the Antichrist] shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper” (Daniel 11:36).

He is going to be so proud, in fact, that he will eventually claim to be God Himself. “Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4).

 
5. The Antichrist will be a military genius.

The prophet Daniel describes several major wars that the Antichrist fights against those who oppose him during the last three and a half years of his reign. “He will be a master of deception, defeating many by catching them off guard as they bask in false security. Without warning he will destroy them” (Daniel 8:25 TLB).

“They worshiped the Beast, saying, ‘Who is like the Beast? Who is able to make war with him?'” (Revelation 13:4).

 
6. The Antichrist will not desire women.

“He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all” (Daniel 11:37). This verse could mean that the Antichrist will be either celibate or a homosexual.

 
7. The Antichrist will have supernatural powers, given him by the Devil.

“His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper” (Daniel 8:24 KJV).

The Antichrist will be a man of such force and perverse ways that throughout the book of Revelation he is referred to as “the Beast.” And by whose power will he prosper? Not by his own, and definitely not by God’s! He will be the Devil’s own man, the false messiah, and through deviltry and witchcraft and all that is evil, he will take control of the world. “The Dragon [Devil] gave him his power, his throne, and great authority” (Revelation 13:2).

“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9 KJV).

He will astonish the world with his devices. “I saw [the Antichrist] as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the Beast” (Revelation 13:3 KJV).

For a short time, through the Antichrist, the Devil is finally going to get what he’s been after all the time—kingship of the entire world—and he’s going to rule the world with tremendous power. “Power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb [Jesus]” (Revelation 13:7-8 KJV).

God put these descriptions of the Antichrist and his reign in the Bible not to cause us to be fearful, but to help us to recognize him and be prepared. “You are all children of the light and of the day. … So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Watch for His [Jesus’] return and stay sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6 TLB). Knowing that the appearance of the Antichrist signals Jesus’ soon return to rescue His own will help carry us through!

 

 

 

External link: Characteristics of the Coming World Dictator and False Messiah, the Antichrist

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