Excerpts from “Unmasking the Antichrist, Dispelling the Myths, Discovering the Truth,” by Ron Rhodes
“If you can’t or won’t respond to Jesus now what makes you think you will respond when doing so will cost you and your wife and children (if you have them) your lives?”
This series consists of summaries and excerpts from the following books and websites: “Charting The End Times, A Visual Guide to Understanding Bible Prophecy” — Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice, http://www.truthnet.org/dan70.html, “Epicenter,” — Joel Rosenberg, “The Final Act” — Chuck Smith, “Unmasking the Antichrist, dispelling the Myths, Discovering the Truth” — Ron Rhodes, “The MacArthur Study Bible” — John MacArthur.
Hopefully, you will be encouraged to read and study the Bible and maybe one or more of these books. The 7-year period called the Tribulation period is not a time that anyone should want to be alive in. God provides an escape and my prayer is that as you read, study and learn more about this period, you will accept the salvation, grace and escape God is offering you. Or if you have already accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, that your will grow closer in your walk with Him.
I know there are people who feel God’s call on their heart but keep telling themselves they will answer God’s call tomorrow or some day. There are also people who say when and if the rapture happens and they are left behind then they’ll believe in Jesus. As my pastor has said many times, “If you can’t or won’t respond to Jesus now what makes you think you will respond when doing so will cost you and your wife and children (if you have them) your lives?”
In “Unmasking the Antichrist, Dispelling the Myths, Discovering the Truth,” Ron Rhodes
Magog likely refers to the area that is today occupied by the former southern Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and possibly even northern parts of modern Afghanistan. This entire area is dominated by Muslims.
Rosh apparently refers to Russia.
Meshech and Tubal appear to refer to what is today modern Turkey.
A look at an ancient map of Persia shows that this same territory is occupied by modern Iran.
Ethiopia is today known as Sudan
Scholars agree that Put is modern day Libya.
The best guess among Bible scholars is that Gomer refers to modern Turkey.
In keeping with the geography of Ezekiel’s time, some expositors believe Beth-togarmah is a reference to modern Turkey.
The Tribulation period will be characterized by wrath (Zephaniah 1:15 & 18), judgment (Revelation 14:7), fury (Isaiah 26:20 & 21), trial (Revelation 3:10), distress (Jeremiah 30:7), destruction (Joel 1:15), darkness (Amos 5:18), desolation (Daniel 9:27), overturning (Isaiah 24:1-4) and punishment (Isaiah 24:20 & 21).
This Tribulation will envelop the entire world, not just part of it. Revelation 3:10, Isaiah 24:1, 7)
The pretrib position is most consistent with the biblical testimony. Revelation 3:10 indicates that believers will be kept from the actual hour of trial that is coming on the whole world. Further, no Bible passage on the tribulation mentions the church, either in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 4:29 & 30; Jeremiah 30:4-11;, Daniel 8:24-27 and 12:1 & 2) or in the New Testament (Matthew 13:30, 39-42, 48-50 and 24:15-31; 1 Thessalonians 1:9 & 10, 5:4-9; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-11; Revelation 4 – 18)
The antichrist is specifically predicted to come from the actual people who destroyed Jerusalem and its temple (Daniel 9:26) – that is, the Roman Empire that fell in the fifth century A.D. So we can infer that the antichrist will be of Roman descent (Revelation 17:9-12). His initial domain will be a revived Roman Empire. But we read in Revelation 13:7 that the antichrist will gain authority “over every tribe and people and language and nation” (NLT). Moreover, Daniel 7:23 informs us that the antichrist ” shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces” (NKJV).
What makes sense is that once Christians are removed from the earth at the rapture and once the Muslims are largely destroyed by God during the Ezekiel invasion (war of Gog and Magog), it will be much easier for the Roman antichrist to emerge into power along with the false prophet, who will promote a false one-world religion and bring about a one-world government.
The antichrist cannot be revealed until the one who restrains lawlessness is taken out of the way.
And you know what is holding him back, for he can be revealed only when his time comes. For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way. Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8a NLT)
Who is powerful enough to restrain the antichrist? Who is omnipotently powerful enough to restrain Satan? Only one person — God. For this reason, many Bible expositors (perhaps the majority) believe the restrainer is the Holy Spirit, who indwells the church.
1 John 4:4b tells us “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (NKJV). “He who is in” Christians is the Holy Spirit, who is more powerful than the devil.
The Spirit presently abides in the world in a special way in this age through the church. Once this special abiding is removed, the antichrist will manifest himself.
The removal of the church removes the Holy Spirit’s mighty working through the church which allows the antichrist to come into power.
The Holy Spirit will continue His work in bringing people to salvation, but He will no longer baptize them into the body of Christ, nor will He actively hinder Satan from brining his schemes to fruition.
Revelation 13:1 speaks of the “beast rising out of the sea.” Later in 17:15 that the waters are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages. Since the antichrist is said to rise out of the sea and the sea is a reference to the Gentile nations around the earth, it seems clear that the antichrist will be a Gentile.
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, (2 Thessalonians 2:9 NKJV)
The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. (Revelation 13:2 NKJV)
Such verses make it clear that Satan will empower and energize the antichrist.
Scripture reveals that during the tribulation period, one supreme false prophet will emerge who will be the right-hand man of the antichrist.
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. (Revelation 13:11 NKJV)
The antichrist will primarily be a military and political leader, but the false prophet will primarily be a religious leader.
causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast (Revelation 13:12n NKJV)
The mark of the beast.
He 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. (Revelation 13:16-18 NKJV)
One’s very survival will be determined by a decision for or against God. One must choose to either receive the mark and live (being able to buy and sell) or reject the mark and face suffering and death. One must choose to follow antichrist and eat well or reject the antichrist and starve.
Anyone who expresses loyalty to the antichrist and his cause will suffer the wrath of our holy and just God.
Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, “he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. “And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:9-11 NKJV)