Your Bible warns of a time, at the end of this present age, when almost the whole world will be united in opposition to God Himself! What will you do when that time comes?
An unprecedented worldwide rejection of God Himself—and His entire Way of life—is just ahead! Listen! This is not a small “religious” matter. As you will see, this will be a truly massive rejection of the God of creation. It will sweep across the world and involve billions of human beings. Many thousands will be persecuted or martyred for resisting this power!
My colleagues and I have discussed at length the real danger this final rebellion will pose, and we want to warn all of you Tomorrow’s World subscribers about a very powerful movement that is beginning to affect your very lives! If you have any real faith in the Bible, you should begin to look at world events far more closely than most do—because, right now, several phases of end-time prophecies are coming together. And the “mainstream” churches of this world have virtually no real understanding about these enormous events very soon to occur!
Are you and your loved ones mentally, emotionally and spiritually prepared to be threatened and possibly even assaulted by an unprecedented worldwide rebellion? This prophesied rebellion will reject almost every vestige of “Christianity,” then spur a “return to religion” with the virtual worship of a powerful and mysterious figure proclaiming himself the “god” of a religious system that will deceive the whole world. Are you ready? Is your understanding of the Bible firm, accurate and true? Is your personal faith in God and His inspired word really strong—or does it “waver” around the edges? How will you and your family react when a powerful and charismatic religious figure literally brings fire down from heaven? How will you react when the masses of humanity prepare to fight the returning Jesus Christ and His armies from heaven—whom they may even dismiss as “space aliens” coming to destroy mankind?
Most students of biblical prophecy understand that the Bible clearly predicts an end-time revival of the Holy Roman Empire. In Revelation 17:11, God’s word describes the final “Beast” or super-dictator who will head the entire Roman system within a few years. At that time, ten “kings” or leaders of nations are described as ruling for only an “hour” with the Beast (v. 12). The prophecy continues, “These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast” (v. 13). In World War II, Adolf Hitler—who was a forerunner of this final dictator—was not able to cajole or pressure the other leaders of Europe to submit to him. Rather, Adolf Hitler’s powerful army swept across most of Europe and conquered these nations militarily. This time, however, through political and perhaps, most of all, financial pressure, these leaders of European nations—formerly part of the Roman Empire—will “give” their power and authority to this soon-coming “Beast.”
Because, over the last few decades, our so-called “Western” world has almost totally forsaken the true God—the God of the Bible. That is why the truly shocking events described in verse 14 could even remotely take place. For these entire nations by that time will have turned so far away from the true God that they will end up literally fighting Jesus Christ at His return! “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful” (v. 14).
“How could this possibly happen?” you may ask. It is because your Bible also clearly predicts a soon-coming massive deception of this world’s population! It will go well beyond anything you have ever seen! Returning to Revelation 13, we find that this coming political/military leader called the “Beast” is clearly described. The “deadly wound” administered to the Roman Empire when it fell in 476ad was “healed” when Justinian revived the Empire in 554ad (Revelation 13:3). Roman military power inspired both fear and respect throughout the Dark Ages, and the true saints of God were often persecuted or killed by that power (vv. 4–10).
Then, in verse 11, “another beast” is pictured who looks like Christ (“like a lamb”), but his message is like a “dragon,” Satan the Devil (see Revelation 12:9)! God tells us that this second beast will make “fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men” (Revelation 13:13). Through such “miracles” the false prophet will deceive those who dwell on the earth by those signs he was granted to do (v. 14). Will you be deceived?
Yes, your Bible clearly predicts that a powerful religious leader will bring “fire down from heaven” in the sight of men. Events like this are going to shock people into an awareness that the spirit world the Bible describes is very real! If you believe that God Almighty inspired the many prophecies about this soon-coming time of religious and political upheaval, you need to fervently ask your Creator for genuine understanding.
The Bible also describes this coming time in 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12. Please carefully study what the Apostle Paul was inspired to tell us. After warning God’s people not to assume that Christ had already returned, Paul stated, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day [the return of Jesus Christ] will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (vv. 3–4). Yes, the Apostle Paul makes it clear that two major events of global significance will occur just before Jesus Christ returns to save mankind from total cosmocide.
Although the New King James Version of the Bible, like the King James Version, uses the term “falling away” in the above-mentioned passage, many, many respected translators render this phrase as “the rebellion.” The Moffatt translation states, “Let nobody delude you into this belief, whatever he may say. It will not come till the Rebellion takes place first of all, with the revealing of the Lawless One, the doomed One, the adversary who vaunts himself above and against every so-called god or object of worship, actually seating himself in the temple of God with the proclamation that he himself is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3–4). The Revised Standard Version has it, “For that day will not come, unless a rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition.” Also, the New English Bible states, “That day cannot come before the final rebellion against God.”
As America and the so-called Christian world increasingly turn away from the God of the Bible—as more millions of young people—even churchgoing youth—live openly in fornication, and as 40 percent of all babies in the United States are born to unwed mothers, as even now the institution of marriage is under attack and professing “Christian” leaders try to tell us that “same-sex” marriage is just fine, we can begin to realize that virtually every single vestige of genuine biblical Christianity is under attack. This will continue to build into a massive rebellion against the God of the Bible, the Creator God!
As this terrible trend continues, a very cunning Satan the Devil will take advantage of this situation by raising up a false religious “savior”—a powerful, miracle-working leader who will absolutely captivate humanity by awesome miracles he will be allowed to perform. The Apostle Paul’s inspired prophecy continues, “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:8–9). Notice the timing of the “lawless” one, and his appearance and this massive rebellion against our Creator! God’s word specifically states that Christ will destroy this wicked man “with the brightness of His coming.” So this could not be referring to some falling away that took place 20, 50 or 2,000 years ago! For these events lead right up to the Second Coming of Christ!
Because of the unusual miracles, this charismatic religious leader will sit “as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (v. 4). Yet he is called the “lawless one” and the entire religious system he heads is called “the mystery of lawlessness” (v. 7).
Lawlessness? Is Paul just talking about local ordinances or traffic laws? Of course not! For the entire New Testament shows that those who are willing to actually believe what it clearly says understand that a true “saint” of God is defined this way: “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). Earlier, Jesus told the young man who came asking the way to eternal life, “if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17) and then Jesus named some of the Ten Commandments.
Years after Christ’s death and resurrection, the beloved Apostle John wrote: “He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4). So, to know the true God—the God of the Bible—one must actually obey the Ten Commandments. It is not that God’s law has been “nailed to the cross”—rather, Christ’s sacrifice allows the sins of repentant Christians to be forgiven. A truly converted Christian must surrender to let the true Christ of the Bible live within him through the Holy Spirit. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, KJV).
So, the “mystery of lawlessness” describes an entire religious system that has denied Jesus’ teaching to keep the commandments, and has substituted in its place an emotional belief in the person of “Christ”—actually, in fact, in a false Christ its leaders have invented. The coming “lawless one” (2 Thessalonians 2:9) will use supernatural miracles and truly diabolical methods to turn most of the entire world away from the true God, and will install himself “as God in the temple of God” (v. 4). Most of mankind will stand in rebellion against the true Jesus Christ of the Bible, having instead given its allegiance to a Satanic counterfeit that makes a mockery of—and in fact proclaims doctrines entirely contrary to—the true teachings of Jesus Christ.
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary explains: “The man of lawlessness will occupy the holy precincts in order to accept and even demand worship that is due God alone. This evidently is a Jewish temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem in the future. Dependence of these words on Daniel 9:26, 27; 11:31, 36, 37;12:11 (cf. Matt 24:5; Mark 13:14) demands such a reference” (p. 322).
Can we begin to imagine the truly shocking and awesome events coming upon this world within about the next 10 to 15 years? I would now like to give all of you a likely scenario as to how these startling events may develop. Jesus Christ commanded His true followers to watch these end-time events and to “pray” (Luke 21:36). Here is what you should “watch” for over the next several years. Coming events are likely to develop in the three phases I will now describe.
In its first phase, we will see this massive, worldwide rebellion against the Creator continue to grow and spread as we witness the increasing rejection of the Bible and of virtually all formerly understood religious truths throughout much of the Western world. We will see more and more homosexual activity and the glorification of sexual relationships other than traditional marriage. We will see more women murdering their unborn babies, more young people and others living in fornication and flouting every formerly understood principle of decency in the way they act—and we will see the accelerating collapse of all the norms of decent society.
But then, there will be a powerful reaction against modern Western secular tendencies, as people become frightened by the breakdown of society and by the increasing growth of militant Islam and other religious movements that begin to rise into prominence as the former “Christian” influence over the Western world diminishes. Crucially, at some point, a powerful religious leader—described in your Bible as the “false prophet”—will come forward and quickly begin to perform astounding miracles that cannot be explained scientifically. He and the religious system with which he is connected will begin to take control of all religion in the Western world. This man will also heavily influence and cooperate with a strong political leader—the “Beast”—as Revelation 13 clearly describes. For, as the Apostle John was inspired to tell us about this false prophet who looks like a “lamb”: “He exercises all the authority of the first beast [the Roman Empire] in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed” (v. 12).
As Revelation 18 clearly explains, this entire system is called “Babylon.” In the second phase, as these two individuals—the “Beast” and the “False Prophet”—gain power, this system takes over and controls virtually all the business and commerce of the entire world! They will impose the “mark of the Beast” on all those who want to live peaceably in their system. Only those with the mark of the Beast will be permitted to engage in commerce. “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” (Revelation 13:16–17). What is that mark? To learn more, read “The Mysterious Mark of the Beast” on page 10 of this issue.
But this powerful religio-political combine will not last forever. When God brings this modern “Babylon” down, “the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore” (Revelation 18:11). God’s word describes the industrial titans, the big merchants and the ship owners of the earth in absolute dismay as this system comes crashing down: “For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.” And: “They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate’” and again, “For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth” (vv. 17–19, 23–24).
It should now be clear to all of us that this is definitely not just a small turning away from some church or particular religion! It is, rather, a massive takeover of most of the world by two individuals under the influence of and using the power of Satan the Devil! Frankly, these two individuals will be so powerful and influential that thousands of “mainstream” ministers will join in and bring their flocks with them. For they will be deceived by the most massive deception of the world in its entire history! Will you go along? Or will you begin to actually study these prophecies, ask God for understanding and have the faith and courage to obey your Creator?
The third phase will see the final outcome of this shocking rebellion! At the height of their powers, influenced and even possibly possessed by Satan the Devil and literally filled with vanity, the leaders of this coming system will directly fight Jesus Christ at His Second Coming! “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:14).
Later, John was inspired to inform us, “And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse [Jesus Christ] and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Revelation 19:19–20).
So, there will come a time when you will see many of your friends and loved ones decide to escape persecution and even martyrdom by going along with this system as it rises to power. However, the end of the leaders of this system is very clearly stated: the lake of fire! And their followers “were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse” (v. 21).
At the end of this age, the vast majority of mankind will be deceived and led into an unprecedented rebellion against the very Creator. However, there will be a “little flock” (Luke 12:32), which follows the genuine teachings of Christ and His original apostles. Within this little flock of commandment-keeping Christians, some will be protected in a place of safety, spared the martyrdom that will be required of others. These are the Christians pictured by the Church in Philadelphia, to whom Christ said, “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 3:10). To these Christians, God gives the promise, “But the woman [the Church] was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent” (Revelation 12:14). For three and a half years, this most faithful group of Christians will be kept protected, on the earth, while terrible persecutions continue.
Satan, during this time, will “make war” against those Christians who were not fully zealous before the Great Tribulation had begun (Revelation 12:17). I pray that those of you reading this article will be among the faithful who are protected. But, if you are not, I pray that you will have the courage and conviction to stand up against the Beast and the False Prophet, even when it means martyrdom.
Gloriously, both those protected in the place of safety and those who die as faithful martyrs during the Great Tribulation will be blessed with eternal life in the Kingdom of God. They will be given the opportunity to rule with Christ and bring peace to the entire world. They will have part in the first resurrection at Christ’s return. The Bible clearly states: “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6).
As these startling events begin to unfold—slowly but surely, all across the world—will you exercise the faith and courage to fervently “seek” the true God of the Bible and to be one of His saints forever? Will you stay alert and “watch” carefully for what Bible prophecy reveals will happen before Jesus Christ returns? Will you choose the Way of God, or the way of rebellion? May God give you the understanding, the faith and the courage to make the right choice!