To Become a God
The Apostle Paul also tells us that the persona of pride and arrogance of the Antichrist will become so great that he will begin to think of himself as something more than merely human. He says that the man of sin will oppose anything that is Godly. Not only will he fight against traditional religion, especially Christianity, but also he will even go so far as to declare himself to be God incarnate!
The power that the Antichrist will exercise in controlling the world will quickly go to his head. The unprecedented popularity he will enjoy among the nations will only reinforce his ascension to “deity”. He will become the Emperor of the world and begin to think of himself as its savior. The prophet Daniel also saw this aspect of the Antichrist’s personality when he predicted,
“And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished; for that which is determined shall be done.
“Neither shall he regard the gods of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above all.”
The danger of becoming too rich and powerful has always related to pride and self delusion. For the Antichrist, who will be regarded as the most powerful and influential leader in all history, pride will lead to an obsession with his own greatness. Power and pride will cause him to be the most deluded and evil person who has ever lived. Unfortunately, this also means that anyone who dares stand in the way of this evil dictator will quickly suffer his wrath.
A Dangerous Politician
The writings of both Daniel and John indicate that the Antichrist’s rise will initially be in the form of speaking “marvelous things against the God of gods”. The Antichrist could not possibly try to stand in the position of God without first speaking out against the true Lord’s very existence. The Bible predicts that he will deny God and all religion regardless of whether it is true or false. In fact, if he rises at a time of world turmoil, such as after a massive Islamic terrorist attack, then he could even use religion as the source of everything wrong with the world and thus justify lashing out against anything related to God. His popularity also will come to a great extent from his ability to present himself in a powerful manner. Since the prophets mention that the last empire will be given a “mouth” speaking great things (Dan. 7:8; Rev. 13:5), it seems apparent that the Antichrist will be a tremendous public speaker, who will be able to stir up crowds as never before. He thus will be a person with overwhelming charisma and a commanding presence, who will quickly dominate all other leaders and politicians.
Unfortunately, the words that the Antichrist will speak against the Lord will be welcomed by many people, especially by those who want to get God out of their lives and out of public view. The growing anti-God culture within the Western world certainly will contribute to the positive reception he will enjoy. Atheists, socialists, progressives, and humanists will be the first to hail his rise to power. The Humanist Manifesto II states as a basic tenant of humanistic philosophy a staunch stance in rejection of all traditional religious values and beliefs. The rallying cry of the Antichrist against Christianity and all things related to God will cause the world to rise up against Biblical values as never before. Many people already accuse Christians of hate speech for saying that Jesus is the only way to God and salvation or that homosexuality and abortion are wrong. When the Antichrist arises, nonbelievers all over the world will suddenly turn against Jesus and His followers as never before. The one-world government of the Antichrist will leave no room for tolerating the true church or anything it represents. Eventually even being suspected of being a Christian will become a terminal liability.
War with the Saints
The books of Daniel and Revelation both say in no uncertain terms that the Antichrist will first speak out against God, then persecute and ultimately kill anyone who dares believe in Christ. To be a follower of Jesus at the end of the age will place Christians in one of the most trying times in all of history.
In speaking of the Antichrist (the “little horn”), Daniel says this:
“I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them…
“And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High…”
The Apostle John echoes these words in the book of Revelation by saying…
“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them; and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”
How can anyone possibly believe that Christians will avoid the troubles of the last days? Those who try to explain away these verses by claiming that they speak of the so-called “tribulation saints” are exercising wishful thinking. Tribulation saints are supposed to be the believers who will come to know Christ only after the rapture of the church has occurred. According to this viewpoint, we who now follow Jesus in the last days but before the rise of the Antichrist, will be suddenly and without warning caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Allegedly, this instantaneous event will make Christians seem to disappear from the face of the earth. At that point, those left behind will be destined to face the rise of the Antichrist and all the trials of the tribulation period.
However, as can be clearly seen in the sections on the rapture (see the chapter entitled The Return of Christ), this theory is simply not Biblically tenable. When Daniel and John speak of the persecution of the saints, they are not referring to some select group of people conveniently created to allow us to avoid the troubles ahead. They are speaking of we who now live and believe in Jesus. We will survive to stand before the wrath of the non-believing world. We will be the ones “worn out” by the Antichrist. We will be the ones who the Antichrist is given power over and makes war against. The days which are soon to come upon the earth are so serious that every Christian should be made aware of these facts. Knowledge eliminates deception, and the Antichrist’s rise will be full of all the deceit Satan can muster!