“And in the latter time … a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise … And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand” (Daniel 8:23-25). “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).

The Bible speaks in many places in both the Old and New Testaments about a man who will suddenly appear on the world scene grabbing attention as a great political leader and orator, who will seemingly have the answer to the world’s greatest problems such as, peace in the middle east, poverty, climate-change, etc.

This man is known in the Bible as the Antichrist (or false Christ). Not only will he be received and revered as a great political leader, but also as a great religious leader. In fact, for a short time, he will be received by the Jewish people as their long-awaited Messiah. There is much written on this subject, not only in Scripture, but also among religious writers.

Today, the world is clamoring for a leader that can unite us and bring in a plan for peace and prosperity to all peoples. Therefore, someone with a charismatic personality who can address the issues, and clearly and logically offer solutions, could quickly gain popularity and the trust of people desperately seeking such solutions.

Since right after the great flood in Noah’s day when God diversified the languages and scattered the population to form separate nations, the world has been seeking to reestablish a one-world government and ruler who could bring all nations together and collectively solve the problems of society. Thus, the United Nations, World Bank, WHO, etc.

You might wonder why God would not welcome the world coming together as one under a single government and ruler. Well, one day He will bring the world together under the rule of the Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring real peace and prosperity. However, any other one-world ruler would magnify himself and set himself up as God and demand to be worshipped and served, while oppressing the population (look to North Korea as an example).

So, will this false Christ, known as the Antichrist, do once he comes to power, “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4).

The Bible tells us that any who would refuse to worship him will not be able to participate in the economy, travel or receive any service including medical care, etc. “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16, 17).

The current COVID-19 pandemic gives us some insight on how this could easily be implemented. For example, the mask mandates, and businesses, social and church assemblies were quickly shutdown.

There has been a push by some to require proof of vaccination before one can travel, enter a business or sports event. Many schools, colleges and universities are requiring proof of vaccination. I AM NOT SAYING THAT REQUIRING THE COVID VACCINATION IS A MARK OF THE BEAST, I am simply using it as an example of how easily implanting this mark can be instituted!

There will be dire consequences for those who accept and worship this “beast” “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name” (Revelation14:11).

But a real blessing for those who receive and worship the King of kings, and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).

Roy Delia is pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church, Ontario. He can be reached in care of The Argus Observer, 1160 S.W. Fourth St., Ontario, OR 97914. The Argus Observer weekly faith column features a rotation of writers from many different faiths and perspectives.

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