The Bible makes clear that before Jesus returns, the nations of the world will be united under a single ruler. Revelation 13:7 says, “authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation” (NKJ). This world ruler is the Antichrist. He is called that because he presents himself as the savior of mankind in opposition to the Messiah of the Bible.
The Antichrist comes on the world scene just prior to a time period Jesus called the "Tribulation" (Matthew 24:9). Most of the terrible events described in the Bible that precede the return of Jesus occur during this time period. We know we are not currently in the Tribulation because the Antichrist has not yet risen to power and the terrible events associated with it have not yet occurred. But Jesus said that some of the awful events of the Tribulation would be like birth pangs in Matthew 24:8 so we should expect them foreshadowing this time period.
Likewise, we should also expect to see attitudes emerge that foreshadow the perspective of the Antichrist who represents himself as the world’s savior instead of Jesus Christ. Indeed, the Apostle John told us in 1 John 4:3, “the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” The spirit of Antichrist was present in the world even during John’s day but has grown even stronger since then because “evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” 2 Timothy 3:13.
Besides the re-establishment of the nation of Israel and the acceleration toward a world-wide government, the most striking developments that tell me we are getting close to the Rapture of the church is the growing pervasiveness of the spirit of Antichrist. So it is instructive to consider what the Bible says about the character of the Antichrist since these reveal the spirit of the Antichrist.
I’ll be taking a closer look at the character traits that the Bible gives for the Antichrist in the next few blog posts. Being able to recognize the values and attitudes that will be held by the Antichrist helps us see how close we are to the coming of the Beast of Revelation. And this should drive us closer to Jesus who will remove His followers from the earth prior to the Tribulation.
The Tribulation is something I’m happy to only read about in God’s Word; none of us should risk having to experience it first hand.