Throughout the world today we see a shadow of the thought and activities of those who are the enemies of God.* But the extraordinary circumstances which have recently developed in the world indicates the closeness of the situation, in details, as foretold of the last drama in the prophecies of God.  "For the secret power of lawlessness is already work" (2 Thess. 2: 7) ** Paul said, even in his day: to-day, we can say, lawlessness is no secret, but is open and universal, and only awaits the "man of lawlessness"; and the world-stage is so set for that final drama that all that we do not know at present is whether the final actors are upon it or not.***  And all this has developed rapidly within a relatively short period of time.


[* The expression, ‘enemies of God’, must include regenerate believers who are actively engaged in suppressing the truth.]

** All Scripture quotations throughout this tract are from the N.I.V.]

[*** Numerous attempts - inside and outside the Church - of date-fixing has cast incalculable damage on the truth.]




We now see some proofs.  A narrative in the Book of Daniel gives us a clear and accurate picture: "With their hearts bent on evil, will sit at the same table and lie to each other, but to no avail" (Dan. 11: 27).  At the same table "designates the dissembled comity and intimacy of the parties, who say and do all they can to mislead each other" (Stuart).  Covenants, treaties, conventions and agreements have been violated on the slightest pretext, and obligations, undertakings, promises and guarantees unfulfilled, have left our world in a state of moral chaos.*


[* How universal this moral anarchy is becoming the world’s politicians are now displaying.]




The warfare feared my many today - acts of terrorism and a threatened period of poison gas rule - would make the peoples of the world as completely subject to single dictatorship as were the galley slaves, swinging their oars under the lash.  Furthermore, the world-perils we face are not alone those of a ruthless dictator, but are political, economic, racial, and religious.  A solid Christian front means certainly and inevitably a solid Muslem front which, in the end of the day, can have only one meaning - it means war; and it means war more frightful than what we presently see raging throughout the world today.


"All who support peace based on political, racial, economic or religious machinery instead of peace based on regeneration and personal reconciliation with God are deeply confirming the world in an illusory dream of frightful peril and in plans doomed before they start."




Antichrist’s dealings with the Jews is packed into a sentence.  "He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven’, but in the middle of that ‘seven’, he will put an end to sacrifice and offering" (Dan. 9: 27).  He rages against the Covenant which God has made once again with Israel.  No covenant - a legal term, confined to the epoch of Law - is known, or is possible, in the Day of Grace; but the Holy Spirit has been careful to record in the Epistle to the Hebrews - an epistle addressed primarily to regenerate Jews - that a fresh Covenant with Israel will be made; and as the Covenant in Daniel is named ‘holy’, doubtless it is this final covenant with Israel.  "This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord" (Heb. 10: 16).  So history repeats itself.  In 161 B.C. the Romans and the Jews made a pact (I Macc. Viii: 19-29) that if either were attacked, the other would give no help to the enemy; yet ultimately Rome cast out the Jews.  Exactly so, Antichrist first praises the Jews, then bankrupts them.




The crucial moment of all history now arrives.  He shall profane the sanctuary - the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem - and take away its daily sacrifices, which had been restored, "and sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God" (2 Thess. 2: 4).  It is this which our Lord quotes as the signal for the watchful "in Judea" to flee to the mountains, beyond which is the desert where they will be for three and a half years; his image will be visible - (our Lord states, Matt. 24: 17) - from the "roofs of the houses".*


[* If antichrist’s image is anything like the size Saddam’s images were in Iraq, it will be visible from a distance of miles and the news of its erection - no other warning would be needed to a Jew or Christian with the Holy Scriptures in hand - will immediately travel everywhere by satellite, mobile phone, television and radio.]




So now the horror falls on Jews and Christians who neglect the warning of Christ.  "Those who are wise shall instruct many: yet they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or blundered."  Israel, like the Church, had its warning; and as the Christian, if he does not "watch and pray" (Luke 21: 36), enters the Great Tribulation, equally so together with those ‘in Judea’, if he neglects the immediate flight our Lord commands.  But the object of the trial is exactly alike for both.  "Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end" (Dan. 11: 33, 35).  It is very beautiful to realise that Antichrist can only perfect God’s saints: he polishes the metal which are plunged into the fire of persecution.  "The three words are very significant: the first refers to the expulsion of dross by the smelting fire; the second, to the separation, or removal, of the dross already expelled; the third, to the polishing and brightening of the metal after it has been freed from its impurities" (G. H. Pember).




Now all centres on the "contemptible person" (Dan. 11: 21).


"He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard things against the God of gods" (Dan. 11; 36).  It is striking to note how Godet, writing half a century ago, deduced the principles of Antichrist as we are watching them now being openly confessed:- "1. There is no personal God without and above the universe.  2. Man is himself his own god - the god of this world.  3. I am the representative of humanity; by worshipping me humanity worships itself."  Each Dictator adopts the slogan of Louis XIV, "The State, it is I".  Antichrist will also say in his heart:- "I will rise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.  I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High" (Isa. 14: 13).




We see a striking defiance of force and a use of power.  "He will attack the mightiest fortresses, with the help of a foreign god" (11:39).  This would appear to be the Dragon (Satan), who alone can offer the kingdoms of this age [world] and their glory; and who does, as a matter of fact, give his power, throne and authority to the Beast (Rev. 13: 2).  In the remarkable words of Karl Barth:- "The whole world seems to be under the bewitching power of a huge serpent."  Dictators in their fanatical passion for power, are carried on the shoulders of fanatical young men and women who have been taught that the good life consists in the practice of violence by a self-appointed minority and complete submission to it by the immense majority.  They often believe liberty is a delusion, that government is the secret of a few experts, among whom their leader is infallible, that nations are a law unto themselves, that the good citizen should devote himself to amassing power to enable him to trample on his neighbours.  Everything that has been taught by our Lord and His prophets since the world began is swept into limbo.




Characteristically we can see today a sample of the coming and enormous bribery.  "He will greatly honour those who acknowledge him.  He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land for a reward" (Dan. 11: 39).




Finally, the Holy Land, the scene of antichrist’s greatest crimes becomes his scaffold.  "He will become very strong, but not by his own power.  He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does.  He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people.  He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes.  Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power" (Dan. 8: 24, 25).  He leads the masses at Armageddon, as they face the descending Christ.  That implies supernatural destruction; and his being destroyed, but not by human power is paralysis from the mouth, not from the hand, of Christ: "Whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow [put an end to] with the breath of his mouth, and destroy [paralyze] by the splendour of his coming [Gk. parousia]." (2 Thess. 2: 8).  He is then cast alive "into the fiery lake of burning sulphur" (Rev. 19: 20). *


[* To suppose all this to have been fulfilled in times past under the Roman Emperors and the Church of Rome - (as does the ‘historicist’ interpretation of prophecy) - does a grave disservice to the people of God, and makes an exaggeration so gross as to make the Old Testament incredible.  Moreover its interpretation withdraws from the future the whole warning which our Lord pressed home to His "disciples" (Matt. 24: 1; cf. Acts 11; 26).  The prophecy itself is decisive:- "AT THE TIME OF THE END" (Dan. 11: 40), that is, when Christ returns at the "END OF THE AGE" (Matt. 24: 3, 29, 30); an expression which has only one meaning in prophecy. "At THAT TIME your people [Israel] will be delivered" (Dan. 12: 1).]