“Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.”
[2 Thessalonians 2:3]
I have been building a Biblical profile of the Antichrist over the past several weeks, and by harmonizing the testimony of the prophets, I believe I have gained valuable insight and a robust understanding of this end-times archenemy of our LORD and His people. If this profile of Antichrist is accurate, here are some key components we would expect to see when he is revealed in these last days.
- The Antichrist will emerge out of geopolitical instability and regional Middle-Eastern conflict as a “little horn,” meaning that he will be of little to no reputation when he initially steps upon the world stage. [Daniel 7-8]
- The Antichrist will be revealed soon after the rebuilding of a 3rd Jewish Temple, or at least after the Jews regain access to the Temple Mount to reinitiate their sacrificial system. [Daniel 9-12, Matthew 24:15, 2 Thessalonians 2:4]
- The Antichrist will use flattery, deceit, and political power plays to either strengthen or initiate some type of covenant between Israel and another political faction. Perhaps this will be a false peace agreement in the Middle East that opens the door for Jewish authority to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. [Daniel 9:26-27, Daniel 11]
- The Antichrist will take his place in the temple of God in Jerusalem and set up the “abomination of desolation,” profaning the house of God and blaspheming the name of God. This is the sign of the beginning of the great tribulation. [Daniel 9-11, Mt. 24:15-22, 2 Thess. 2:1-8]
- The Antichrist will emerge from a revived Islamic Caliphate or some semblance of a Neo-Ottoman Empire, which is the fourth kingdom described in Daniel 2 and the fourth beast in Daniel 7.
- The Antichrist quickly will rise to power and lead a 10-king/nation Middle-Eastern alliance after supplanting three of the original kings. [Daniel 7:19-28, Revelation 12:3, 17:9-14]
- The Antichrist, or king of the north, will most likely emerge from within the geographical boundaries of the ancient Babylonian/Assyrian Empire, or more specifically modern-day Turkey/Syria. [Micah 5, Ezekiel 38-39, Daniel 11]
- The Antichrist will lead an end-times invasion into Israel and his armies will have temporary success, slaughtering many and taking others into captivity. [Psalm 83, Daniel 11, Ezekiel 38-39, Micah 5, Zechariah 14, Luke 21]
- The Antichrist will concentrate his satanic wrath toward all God’s people — both ethnic Jews and all followers of Jesus Christ. This will be the great tribulation for the saints and the time of Jacob’s trouble. [Jeremiah 30, Daniel 12, Matthew 24:9-28, Revelation 12-13]
- The Antichrist and his armies ultimately will be destroyed by KING JESUS upon His return to strike the nations and tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God. [Zechariah 14, Ezekiel 38-39, 2 Thessalonians 1-2, Revelation 19]
To conclude this series, I would like to examine three more titles given to Antichrist that will complete his profile — the beast, the man of lawlessness, and the son of destruction.
“And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. 2And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. 3One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. 4And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”[Revelation 13:1-4]
The Apocalyptic imagery in the Scriptures often uses the same language to describe both king and kingdom. We see this in the Old Testament quite often as the entire nation of Israel would gather for war, “as one man before the LORD.” In the same way, the prophets sometimes refer to an individual king as being synonymous with his kingdom. Such is the case for the beast.
In the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the Apostle John uses Old Testament images to describe the end-times Antichrist and his kingdom. In this case, John is drawing from the prophet Daniel, who used the term, beast, when speaking about the prominent kingdoms of the world.
The dragon, or the devil, gave his power and throne and authority to this beast, which represents both the king and the kingdom. The final kingdom of the Antichrist will be a composite of the four great former kingdoms of the world — Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and the Ottoman Empire. As I have proposed, I believe the Antichrist will come from this revived Ottoman Empire under the Islamic Caliphate. Islam will be the unifying factor that brings the final beastly empire together under the rule of the beast.
The final composite kingdom of the Beast will be centralized in the Middle East, but the Beast will have sway and world-wide influence to some extent. The Bible says that the False Prophet will perform many amazing signs and wonders as to deceive the whole world and that the Beast will require all who wish to participate in commerce and trade to receive his mark [Revelation 13:11-18]. I believe this mark will involve a credal statement of allegiance to the Beast, much like the Islamic shahada. Anyone who refuses to publicly confess allegiance to the Beast will be persecuted or killed under this system.
Also, the Beast and the False Prophet will persuade the “kings of the east” to join them for the final end-times battle, gathering them in the valley of Armageddon [Rev. 16:12]. I believe these kings will represent Muslim nations such as India, Pakistan, and Indonesia, which currently have hundreds of millions of Muslim citizens.
“As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction. 12And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. 13These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast. 14They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”[Revelation 17:11-14]
Man of Lawlessness
There is a mystery of lawlessness already at work in the world. Lawlessness, or iniquity, is when utter human sin and depravity is combined with unbridled evil and satanic activity. When men and women completely throw off moral restraint and give themselves over to the control of demonic power, then the world will be primed for the revealing of the man of lawlessness.
The Antichrist will be the great leader of licentiousness and lust, the great herald of blasphemy and perversion. He will be the prince of darkness and rebellion, leading the whole world astray into death and destruction. The spirit of antichrist is already at work, but if we are living in the last of the last days, then we would expect to see this spirit of lawlessness and rebellion intensify like never before.
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”[2 Timothy 3:1-4]
Son of Destruction
Finally, the Antichrist is called the son of destruction. Obviously, this means he will be a man, not a woman. But beyond that, there are two primary applications regarding this title. First, the Antichrist will come to destroy and make desolate. He will be ruthless in his campaign of terror. He will leave a wake of destruction in his path everywhere he goes. He will pour out satanic wrath and concentrate his anger toward God’s people — both Jews and Christians. The great tribulation will be initiated and fueled by the son of destruction, who comes to steal, kill and destroy.
“Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation.”[Revelation 13:7]
“His power shall be great—but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints … Without warning he shall destroy many.”[Daniel 8:24-25]
Like every historical type of antichrist that has sought to destroy God’s people, the Antichrist will be fueled by this hatred and bent on destruction. Neither Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Haman, Antiochus Epiphanes, Mohammed, or Hitler, nor all their hatred combined will equal that of the Antichrist.
But not only will the Antichrist be a destroyer, he ultimately will be destroyed. The end of the story has been written and all the enemies of God will be destroyed in the end.
“And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.”[2 Thessalonians 2:8]
“He shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
for a time, times, and half a time.
But the court shall sit in judgment,[Daniel 7:25-26]
and his dominion shall be taken away,
to be consumed and destroyed to the end.
“And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.”[Revelation 19:19-20]