I recently received a question related to the time of Antichrist and the situation of believers and unbelievers at that time:
What will we do when the time of the Antichrist comes, how will we avoid him? I believe that the ‘miracle’ with his uncle who will raise and an icon in his image will be made, that people will worship, is Ariel Sharon from Israel that is in a coma since 2006. What do you think?
Ignorance of the Scriptures brings fear and disorder
In the second Epistle to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul presents important truths pertaining to the coming of Antichrist. It seems that someone sent a letter to the Christians in Thessalonica, as signed by Paul, which said that day of the Lord had already come. This would have meant that there already was the second coming of Jesus and the gathering of the Christians together with Him, that means their abduction to heaven and therefore, the Christians of Thessalonica thought they had been left and that would have to face big troubles that would come together with the day of the Lord. Therefore, the Apostle Paul begins chapter 2 as follows:
Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2)(NASB)
Immediately thereafter, the Apostle writes that the day the Lord will not come before the coming of Antichrist, which here is named the man of lawlessness, and he describes …
How will the coming of the Antichrist be?
After saying that the day the Lord has not come yet, the Apostle writes:
Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; (2 Thessalonians 2:3-8)(NASB)
This text highlights the following important truths about the Antichrist:
- he is a man (the man of lawlessness)
- exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship
- he takes his seat in the temple of God (this implies that God’s Temple in Jerusalem should already be built)
- the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming
The same chapter 2 of II Thessalonians clearly shows …
What will be the fate of unbelievers?
When I say non-believers I mean people of other religions, or atheists, or who were Christians only in name, but never concluded a covenant with Jesus and were not born again and have not lived in obedience to God’s Word. The author continues to report about the coming of the coming of the Antichrist and he writes:
that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)(NASB)
These are the unbelieving people, according to this passage:
- those who are perishing
- those who did not receive the love of the truth (Gospel) to be saved
- therefore God sends them strong delusion (the whole work of the Antichrist is against them and for their torment and destruction)
- they will believe a lie (they will believe about the Antichrist that he is really God, because he will describe himself as God and will take seat in the Temple from Jerusalem demanding total worship)
- they did not believe the truth (when the Gospel was preached to them)
- they had pleasure in unrighteousness (that’s why they rejected the Gospel, even when he knew it to be true)
- they will be condemned
It is natural now to wonder …
What will be with the Christians at the coming of the Antichrist?
Apostle Paul contrasts the fate of the unbelievers with the fate of Christians and writes:
But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14)(NASB)
So, believers will not be condemned at the coming of Antichrist, because God chose them from the beginning for salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and faith in the truth. Have you noticed that attitude towards tryth really determines the fate of people at the coming of Antichrist? Those who have rejected the truth will be condemned and those who believed the truth have been saved and will attain the glory of Jesus Christ. About the fact that the coming of the Antichrist is not a threat to the Christians, apostle Paul wrote in his first epistle to the Thessalonians:
But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:8-11)(NASB)
The relationship between Ariel Sharon and the beast
This is an aberration, or in Biblical terms, fairy tales that have no biblical basis. The Bible says the Antichrist and the false prophet will work at the same time. This teaching is presented in detail in chapter 13 of Revelation. Here the Antichrist is called the "first beast" and the false prophet is called "the second beast." I quote the chapter:
And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?" There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints. Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either 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 the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. (Revelation 13:1-18)(NASB)
And now let us make a brief analysis of the text to emphasize a few important things:
- All activity of the first beast, that is the Antichrist will be 42 months or 3.5 years. Ariel Sharon lies comatose since 2006. Now we are in 2010. 2010-2006 = 4 years. Was the temple in Jerusalem built in this period? Did any of the things that describe the work of the Antichrist in II Thessalonians or what is written here in chapter 13 of Revelation happen? No, nothing happened and there is no reason to make such statements about Ariel Sharon.
- The second beast is the false prophet and he will make all people on earth to worship the first beast, or Antichrist.
- The false prophet said to the people to make an icon of the first beast (Antichrist) and then he gave power to the icon to speak and to kill all those who would not worship the image of the beast, but it happens only after the Antichrist will do his original work and will be recognized by all the inhabitants of the earth.
- And it is also important to note that nowhere in the Bible it says that the false prophet will be the uncle of the Antichrist.
God help us all to believe the truth of the gospel to be saved from eternal destruction, but also from the troubles that everyone will have to suffer at the coming of the Antichrist.
Translated by Felicia Rotaru