In the Wings… - By Matt Ward - http://www.raptureready.com/soap2/ward33.html
There is a significant vacuum of leadership in the world today. The president of the United States, once the de-facto leader of the free Western world has, with its current incumbent, long since vacated that position of power. “Leading from behind” has been Obama’s mantra since day one, whatever that actually means.
At the UN there are many leaders, but there are none who provide true leadership. A world beset by successive and worsening crises genuinely cries out for true leadership. You can see the desperation on the faces of world leaders when they huddle together to discuss events that are shaking the fabric of the entire world: ISIS, an approaching financial collapse, mass migration from the Middle East. The appallingly naïve, peace shattering Iranian nuclear “deal” on its own demonstrates how utterly clueless our leaders are; clueless or nefarious.
Russia is invading Syria with their allies Iran and the world simply looks on. China is disputing sovereignty of the East China Sea and telling America in no uncertain terms—keep out. North Korea threatens nuclear war with South Korea and with the “imperialist” United States if it doesn’t remain neutral.
So-called climate change vexes many and has spawned a whole modern day climate change cult. The Japanese Fukishima power plant seems to be in full melt down threatening to wipe out the entire Pacific Ocean with highly radioactive material. Soon the Western seaboard of the US will experience this radioactive material first hand.
WMD’s are already in the hands of Islamic fundamentalists in Syria in the form of chemical and biological weapons and it is the number one goal of ISIS to acquire a nuclear weapon in the next decade. They are making good on their threats as recent information claims the FBI have thwarted four such transactions in the last three years alone.
Then there is Israel—little Israel. In the eyes of many, Israel is accused of being the root cause of so much of this trouble. Israel is truly a burdensome stone in our age. The whole world is preparing to come against her.
The world yearns for real leadership. This yearning is becoming more intense with each successive crisis. Even the secularists acknowledge that we seem to be headed toward the edge of deep, deep cliff and nobody seems to have the faintest idea of how to stop and change course.
Things will get much worse. A man is prophesied yet to step forth and assume a place of power and authority more complete than any before him in human history. He will become a man of great renown but will be so thoroughly evil that if God does not shorten the days, nobody will survive him.
The ground is currently being prepared ahead for this man by people like Pope Francis, Gog and others. When the time is right he will come forward. I am convinced that even now he stands just off stage, waiting patiently in the wings. There is nobody more exceptional who has ever lived, except for Jesus Christ Himself and I believe the Antichrist is alive right now.
This man to come will be utterly lawless but brilliant too beyond our imagination. He is going to deceive and delude many, including from within the Christian church. This man to come is Satan’s Christ and he will be inspired satanically, not demonically. Only one other man in history has ever been inspired by Satan himself,—Judas Iscariot two thousand years ago.
This coming leader will likely know and understand who he is and what his true mission is long before anybody else. Equally so, with the False Prophet and the deception they together will bring. The whole world will marvel at these two satanically sanctioned men.
The Antichrist and the False Prophet will come closer than anybody else before him in making the world believe, through false miracles, huge intellect, power and a false peace that they are actually is divine. This is especially true for the Antichrist.
People will believe that here on this earth is a man comparable with Jesus Christ, the Son of God. His seemingly successful resolution to a multitude of all-encompassing world problems will be all the proof many will need to follow him, to put all their trust and hope in. This current vacuum in leadership is actively preparing the world for his arrival right now.
He will be more successful than anyone before him in deceiving the entire world into thinking that he is worthy of worship. Scripture tells us that the worship of him will not be enforced but voluntary at first, as a reaction to the signs and wonders he will perform and the temporary peace he will bring to a war ravaged world.
He will bring stability to this world for a time, he will give the world the real and tangible leadership it desperately craves.
“Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel” (Ezekiel 28:3).
He will bring answers and seemingly real solutions to the multitude of crises that are already besetting mankind. The world will love him for it. His power and his political, military and religious genius will be second to none on this earth.
We should be under no illusions about this man, he will a superman. He will be perceived as such by the masses and his actions will very much back this up.
“Behold, in his horn were eyes like the eyes of men, and a mouth speaking great things” (Daniel 7:8).
This man, the Antichrist will possess extraordinary intelligence, more than Daniel, more intelligent even than King Solomon, with all of his renowned wisdom. He will use this great wisdom and understanding for the acquisition of his own power, wealth and glory, “With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures” (Ezekiel 28:4).
The power he will wield will be superior to all who have come before him, including Nimrod, the first world dictator and the “head of gold,” King Nebuchadnezzar. He will use this wealth, power and influence to enrapture and then utterly enslave the world.
His earthly power, for a time, will be complete. When Satan tempted the Son of God early in his ministry he took him high up on a mountain where he showed Jesus, “…all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor” (Matt. 4:8).
Satan offered all these kingdoms and their power to Jesus. Our Lord rejected that offer but this vile man to come will not. He will accept it and in a perverse parody of the millennium reign when Jesus will,”…rule the Kingdoms of the earth with an iron rod” for the benefit and betterment of mankind, he will crush the nations of the earth to his own will, and that of his own fathers, for their complete enslavement and doom.
We must understand something important about this man. We must understand the power he will have to influence people. The Dragon gives this man his seat of power and all of his authority, and it is substantial.
“…the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.…” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10).
The majority in the established world church will be completely awed by him.
The nation of Israel which witnessed the signs and wonders of the Lord Jesus Himself and then rejected him, will not reject the signs and wonders performed by this evil charlatan. In fact, they will place all their hopes and desires for their future into his unworthy hands.
Israel’s current international isolation and vilification is pushing her today into a place where she will willingly accept this man; such will be their utter desperation. Israel’s current vilification and isolation on its own tells us that the end is indeed near.
“I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him” (John 5:43).
Alone and isolated in an anti-Semitic, hostile world Israel will be desperately seeking physical deliverance. They will be longing for someone, anyone, who will safeguard them against a hateful world. When the Antichrist comes he will fulfill all of their military expectations but at the cost of their complete spiritual bankruptcy.
He will be a worthless shepherd who will bring Israel to complete ruin and desolation.
“For behold, I am going to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for the perishing, seek the scattered, heal the broken, or sustain the one standing, but will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their hoofs. ‘Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock!’” (Zechariah 11:16-17).
Israel will give themselves completely into his unworthy hands for his false, transient promises of peace. He will promise Israel peace but deliver war. He will promise to walk with Israel, “through the valley of the shadow of death,” but will deliver them up to annihilation. Only the direct and personal intervention of Jesus Christ will save them.
The Gentile world will fair no better. The whole world will, “…worship the dragon which gave power unto the beast; and they worshipped the beast…” (Revelation 13:4). The Gentile world will be completely captivated and Satan will likely directly mimic the Lord Jesus Christ in the revealing of this man of sin.
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition…” (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
It is sobering to reflect that we are living in the time of that prophetic verse today. We are living in the time of the great falling away, when the son of perdition will shortly be revealed. The apostasy that was prophesied to come is right here and very much escalating right now.
When I look at this world today, I find it impossible to come to any other conclusion than that we are right at the door of the Rapture/Tribulation. The stage is already set. The lighting is ready, the orchestra is waiting to play, the technicians have all tested their equipment and the audience has now taken their seats.
This isn’t a dress rehearsal, this is the main event.The assembled cast have already taken their places on stage and await for the main protagonists to come forth. The Antichrist and False Prophet are surely nearby in the wings preparing for their grand entrance. And they will take this unbelieving world, for a time, by storm.