The spirit of Antichrist is not just being seen here in the United States, it is popping up everywhere. For example, it now looks like Ukraine has effectively returned to being a satellite of Russia. President Yanukovych has taken advantage of American indifference and European Union ineptitude to undo most of the pro-Western policies of his Orange Revolution predecessor, Viktor Yushchenko.
One might miss this as being the spirit of Antichrist except for a revealing tidbit in the Times OnLine article linked above: "He declared that the famine that killed millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s was not genocide perpetrated by the Soviet Union but a “shared tragedy” with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan at the hands of Joseph Stalin." This kind of historical revisionism is what the Antichrist will do; "He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law" (Daniel 7:25, NKJ).
Unseen pressures are causing governments to seek bailouts from higher authorities. Of course they are not seeking deliverance from the highest authority, only human agencies. It seems like the trend toward more centralized governmental authority is becoming bolder and more urgent. It has become easier to see how a major crisis could catapult the world into embracing a world-wide governmental leader. God is in the process of giving the world over to total human authority which will culminate during the Tribulation when "authority was given him [the Antichrist] over every tribe, tongue, and nation" (Revelation 13:7).
As we experience more birth pangs heralding the proximity of the Tribulation, there will be plenty of crises for governments to take advantage of in grabbing more control over the people. The goal is total control. The day will come when "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 13:17).
I am convinced that followers of Jesus in this Age of Grace will not have to suffer through the Tribulation. Yesterday's blog pointed out how the flood of Noah's day is connected to the pouring out of God's wrath during the Tribulation. Thus one would expect Genesis to offer insight into the timing of the Rapture since it is such a significant event. And indeed it does, Genesis 5:24 says Enoch who "walked with God" was taken directly to heaven to be with the Lord ahead of the flood. Enoch was a type of the church. As Enoch was protected from God's wrath in the Flood, those who walk with Christ will be protected from God's wrath during the Tribulation.
Considering Enoch reminds me to make sure I'm walking with the Lord all the time because we don't know when Jesus will return. I certainly don't want to miss out on His coming for us.