Do you believe we are living in the end-times? And if so, do you think we will soon see the rise of the Antichrist, the beast, and the mark of the beast spoken of in Revelation?
Considering how 2020 has been so far, it would not be a surprise if you have asked yourself the question is this the end-times and is the church’s rapture forthcoming? For a long time, Hollywood and the Christian movie industry have understood there is money to be made in trying to answer such questions.
Over the years, we have all asked ourselves who might be the Antichrist, when will he appear, and will it happen in our lifetime? Hollywood and the Christian movie industry have understood for a long time there is money to be made from Christians speculating on these things, so we have books and movies telling us in detail what will happen, how it will turn out as if they presented Biblical truths. But the truth is, they are not giving us the Biblical truth; they give us their perception of it.
The only one who can tell us the truth about the end times is the Bible, so today, we will have a look at 2. Thess 2, where Paul tells us what must happen before the Antichrist comes on the scene, and he gives us a clue to who the Antichrist might be.
In 2.Thess 2:3, Paul begins by saying that first there has to be falling away, and a great apostasy where people turn from the law of Moses and want nothing to do with it. The great apostasy has already started with the teachings of Scofield, who introduced the concept of dispensationalism.
In 2.Thess 2:4, Paul quotes Ezekiel 28:2, and by doing so, Paul shows us the Antichrist will be a human being. He will be a man who claims to be God, and he will enter the temple in Jerusalem demanding to be worshiped as God. Even though we are in the midst of the apostasy, the temple has not yet been built. So we know 2. Thess 2:4 is sometime in the future.
By now, you might be asking, why has the Antichrist not yet revealed himself?
From verse 5, Paul gives us the answer to our question. Here he says Yeshua restrains the Antichrist, and Yeshua is the one who prevents him from coming forth at this time. Why is Yeshua restraining him? In Verse 7, Paul says Yeshua is restraining him because the Antichrist must come out from among you. What is Paul saying here? Paul is writing to Christians, and he says the Antichrist must come out from among you. This tells us the Antichrist is a Christian, and Yeshua is not allowing him to come forth just yet. So when you read the Greek text, it gives us the impression of the Antichrist as an angry dog on a leash pulling and tugging on his leash, but Yeshua has him tied up, preventing him from doing what he wants to do. The only thing he can do now is to spread his heresy within Christianity.
So right now, Yeshua has Antichrist on a leash, and the only thing he is allowed to do is to try to spread his heresy within mainstream Christianity.
From verses 9-12, Paul says there will come a time when Yeshua allows the Antichrist to come forth. When that happens, he will have the ability to do great and mighty signs and wonders. From verse 10, Paul says those who do not love Moses and the Torah will be deceived by this, and Yehovah will give them over to judgment so they will not be saved.
So what does this tells us about the Antichrist?
He will be a human being and a Christian. He believes and preaches grace, the new covenant, and dispensationalism. He will reject Moses and reject everything Jewish from the Bible, but he will be a supporter of Israel because he will support the third temple building. As a Christian, he will be charismatic and perhaps a pentecostal, or at least someone who believes in the gifts of the spirit.
So imagine a world leader who is an evangelical Christian, a supporter of Israel, a firm believer in the new covenant and grace, and well able to do great and mighty miracles in Jesus’s name.
Will he come forth in our lifetime?
We do not know, but what we do know is that the one who is restraining him is not the church; it is Yeshua. So we know there will not be a rapture of the church before he emerges on the scene. There will be an increasing chasm and separation within mainstream Christianity between those who reject Moses in favor of the spirit of the Antichrist and those who live by the law of Moses and are true Christians.
Where will you be? Will you live by the law of Moses reconciled to Yehovah by the cross? Will you live lawless as a follower of the Antichrist?
Only you can answer that question, but I urge you to make the right choice and live by the law as a true Christian.