A GLOBAL LEADER IS RISING
By Ed Hindson
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Who is he? What will he do? Avoiding speculation, Ed Hindson turns to Scripture to discover the truth about this master deceiver. Along with compelling evidence that every age has an Antichrist ready to take control, you’ll discover how you can further Christ’s kingdom during this crucial time before Antichrist’s rise to power.
Is the Antichrist alive today?
How will we recognize him?
Will he take over control of the world government?
"Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus...this is the spirit of antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world." –I John 4:3
All of us are curious about the future. There is something in human nature that wants to know what is going to happen in the days ahead. God speaks to that need in our lives by revealing the future before it happens. Bible prophecies give us a glimpse of things to come. We aren’t given all the details, but there is enough information for us to get a general idea of what to expect.
The long, dark shadow of biblical prophecies about the Antichrist fall across the pages of human history. They remind us that one day there will come a world leader of such irresistible magnitude that the world will be swept off its feet. He will charm the public, deceive the nations, and control the planet.
Dr. Ed Hindson and his wife, Donna , are natives of Detroit, Mich. They live in Forest, Va., and are very active members of their community. They have been married for 44 years and have three married children- Linda, Christy and Jonathan - and five grandchildren. Dr. Hindson was ordained in 1966 in Baptist ministry. He is currently the featured Professor and Dean for the Institute of Biblical Studies at Liberty University.
Author, Co-Author and Editor of more than 40 books since the early 1970s, including "Philistines and the Old Testament", "Isaiah's Immanuel", "Angels of Deceit", "Approaching Armageddon", "Antichrist Rising", "The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics", and the 16 volume "Twenty-First Century Bible Commentary"
The Shadow of Coming Events
Since Satan himself does not know the exact time of Christ’s return, he must have a potential candidate for the Antichrist ready at all times. How can we know who he is? What will happen when he rises to power? When will he come on the scene? The biblical record provides us with numerous clues to the identity of the Antichrist. My purpose is to examine those clues and shed light on the identity of this shadowy figure who is destined to control the world through the social, political, and religious structures of the last days.
There are more than 100 passages of Scripture that describe the Antichrist’s origin, nationality, character, career, and global conquest. My goal is to explain, define, and refine the prophetic materials about the Antichrist. I have gone out of the way to avoid ridiculous and unnecessary speculation.
The term Antichrist may be applied both to an individual and the system he represents. Since he will control these structures to his advantage, it is also vital that we renew our commitment to serve the cause of Christ in this world until the Savior calls us home. We have no mandate to surrender this world to Satan. On the contrary, we are called to transform society by the power of the gospel until our work here is done.
Someone ominous is looming on the horizon of human existence. He may still be in the shadows for the moment, but he could suddenly burst forth on the world scene at any time. In the meantime, let us proclaim the truth of the One who is the Light of the world. Keep looking up!
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The Coming World Ruler
Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?–Revelation 13:4
Biblical prophecies clearly predict the rise of the Antichrist in the end times. Many people believe the great millennial end-game has already begun. As civilization speeds toward its final destiny, the appearance of a powerful world ruler is inevitable. The ultimate question facing our generation is whether he is already alive and well and moving into power. This book is an attempt to answer the questions most frequently asked about the Antichrist. How can we know who he is? What clues are there to his identity? When will he make his move to control the global economy and world politics?
The Bible predicts that worldwide chaos, instability, and disorder will increase as we approach the end of the age. Jesus predicted there would be "wars and rumors of wars . . . [and] famines and earthquakes in various places" (Matthew 24:6,7). Dr. Ed Dobson observes, "The Bible also predicts that this chaos will pave the way for the rise of a new world leader who will be able to negotiate world peace and deliver on the promise of security and harmony. This world leader is a person whom most Bible students call the Antichrist."
Ironically, the term Antichrist appears only in 1 John 2:18-22 and 4:3. The apostle John uses it both in the singular ("the antichrist") and in the plural ("many antichrists"). John indicates that his readers have already heard that the Antichrist is coming in the future. Then he surprises them by announcing that many antichrists have already come. He defines these lesser antichrists as liars who deny that Jesus is the Christ (2:22). In this sense, an antichrist is any false teacher who denies the person and work of Jesus Christ. Such teachers are truly anti ("against") Christ.
In 1 John 4:1-3, John warns us to test the spirits to make sure they are from God. Again, he warns that many false prophets (Greek, pseudoprophetes) are "gone out into the world." These are the people who don’t acknowledge that Jesus is from God. In this sense, John announces that the "spirit of the antichrist . . . is already in the world."
Spirit of the Antichrist
In the broadest use of the concept of the "spirit of the Antichrist," we can say with certainty that it is already at work. It is this anti-Christian spirit that does everything it can to undermine, deny, and reject the truth about Jesus Christ. That spirit has been here since the first century, actively opposing the work of Christ on earth.
Dr. Gregory Boyd points out that spiritual conflict is the reality of our universe. In his powerful book God at War, Boyd writes, "One is hard pressed to find any culture, prior to or contemporary with our own, that does not assume something like this perspective. . . . From a cross-cultural perspective, the insight that the cosmos is teeming with spiritual beings . . . is simply common sense. It is we modern Westerners who are the oddballs for thinking that we are the only agents who influence other people."
There can be no doubt that the biblical writers believed the spirit of the Antichrist was alive and well in the first century A.D. Therefore, they were not surprised by opposition, persecution, and even martyrdom. They were convinced that the spiritual war between Christ and Antichrist had already begun.
Grant Jeffrey provides numerous examples of early Christian references to the Antichrist in the Apocalypse of Peter, the Didache, the Ascension of Isaiah, and the Pseudo-Titus Epistle, as well as various church fathers such as Irenaeus, Jerome, and Hippolytus. Irenaeus, who studied under Polycarp, who in turn was discipled by the apostle John, said the Antichrist shall come as "an apostate," the very embodiment of "satanic apostasy."
From the very beginning of the Christian era, believers were convinced that a world ruler would eventually come on the scene who was the embodiment of Satan. The book of Revelation (chapters 12—13) presents an "unholy trinity" that aligns Satan (vs. Father), Antichrist (vs. Son), and False Prophet (vs. Holy Spirit). Thus, the real power behind the Antichrist is Satan. The "father of lies" is the perpetrator of the human manifestation of the world’s greatest liar and the source of the lie that will condemn multitudes under divine judgment (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
Titles of the Antichrist
The person we commonly refer to as the Antichrist is actually known by several names and titles throughout the Bible. Each of these provides a glimpse of the many facets of his diabolical character and nature and presents a portrait of the Antichrist in a series of word pictures that leave little to the imagination.
"I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name" (Revelation 13:1).
The Man of Destruction
"Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction" (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
The Lawless One
"And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming" (2 Thessalonians 2:8).
"So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel . . ." (Matthew 24:15).
The Little Horn
"While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully" (Daniel 7:8).
The Insolent King
"In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise" (Daniel 8:23).
The Ruler Who Is to Come
"After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary" (Daniel 9:26).
The Despicable Person
"He will be succeeded by a contemptible person who has not been given the honor of royalty. He will invade the kingdom when its people feel secure, and he will seize it through intrigue" (Daniel 11:21).
The Strong-Willed King
"The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place" (Daniel 11:36).
The Worthless Shepherd
"For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hoofs. Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock!" (Zechariah 11:16,17).
"Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. . . . Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist" (1 John 2:18,22).
A great deal has been written about the prefix anti in connection with the Antichrist. It can mean either "against" (in opposition to) or "instead of" (in place of). The issue comes down to whether he is the great enemy of Christ or whether he is a false Christ. If he is the enemy of Christ and the head of a Gentile world government, then he is most likely to be a Gentile himself. If he is a false messiah who is accepted by the Jews, then it would stand to reason that he would be Jewish.
Richard Trench writes, "The distinction, then, is plain . . . antichristos (antichrist) denies that there is a Christ; pseudochristos (false Christ) affirms himself to be Christ." The biblical picture is that he is both. Initially, he presents himself as the "savior" of Israel by making a covenant to protect her (Daniel 9:27). In this manner, he appears to be her long-awaited Messiah. But in reality, he is against all that the messianic prophecies foretell about the true Messiah.