After the Rapture of the Christians comes the Tribulation. And in the middle of the Tribulation, Satan will begin immediately to persecute the woman who brought forth the male child (Revelation 12:13), which I believe is the nation of Israel. His purpose is to destroy the Jews. If Israel is to be persecuted during the Tribulation, then she has certainly survived today’s threats.
Satan is the first person and the father of the unholy trinity. The Antichrist is the second person and the son of the unholy trinity who cooperates with Satan and is the head of the reestablished Roman Empire. The third person of the unholy trinity, the False Prophet, has the job of directing the worship and praise of the people back to the Antichrist (Revelation 13:11-12). The False Prophet is the head of the great religious system. Here is the unholy trinity. We could be only a short time away from this great holocaust.
His rise to power is inconspicuous. Most people will not notice in the beginning. His rise will hardly raise the attention even of those who are closest to the center of action. He will rise up out of the masses. The combination of magnetic personality, speaking ability, and extreme good looks will make him virtually irresistible to the masses. When he comes on the scene, people will flock to him like flies to honey, and they will fall over themselves to do anything he asks.
The Antichrist will be Satan’s Superman, represented as a Beast (Revelation 13:1-18). During the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will personify Satan himself. Second Thessalonians 2:9 says, “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.” He will persecute, torture, and kill the people of God, and lead the armies of the world into the climactic battle of Armageddon. He will be the most powerful dictator the world has ever seen, making Caesar, Hitler, Mao, and Saddam seem weak and tame by comparison.
Our clues to the identity of the Antichrist are that he comes from the masses; his personality is magnetic; and people will be drawn to his speaking ability and good looks. And, of course, his “power, signs, and lying wonders” in the last half of the Tribulation will leave no doubt that he is Antichrist.
God promised Daniel that He was not finished judging the stubborn and rebellious Jews yet because those who returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple fell into the same kind of sin that caused their exile in the first place. We call the Tribulation the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. It is the time of the punishment of the Jewish people for their rebellion.
The last battle is called Armageddon, which is also a time when the nations will be judged for their persecution of Israel. God promised the Jewish people that those who persecute them will be persecuted and those who bless them will be blessed. God is faithful to His promise. Those nations that have persecuted the Jews are finally gathered together in the battle of Armageddon, and God’s wrath is let loose upon them.
At Armageddon God will judge all the nations for their sinfulness. Today, immorality is so unrestrained. Though God may delay His judgment, He will not forget it. One day, He will have had enough. People will have crossed over that line from which there can be no repentance (Revelation 16:9: “They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify Him”).
Even in the horror of the judgment of Armageddon, Scripture says the wicked men who are punished by God will continue to curse Him to His face and not repent. The campaign of Armageddon is the wrath of God at work upon those who have rejected God.
Those nations that are gathered together against Jerusalem will see the Lord’s armies in heaven coming after them (Revelation 19:11–16). At that moment, they will forget about the fact that they are at war with each other. They will all get together and decide that they are going to fight against the Lord.
All the armies with their military leaders and advanced technology won’t have a chance—they’ll all be killed. The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse (verse 11), and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh (Revelation 19:21).
So, all those nations that were against Israel are defeated by the Lord and Israel survives.
As we read our papers today and see how God has set the timetable, we can see that He is getting everything in place to begin the final events. What is our response? We need to ask God to build within us a holy urgency for the cause of Jesus Christ, based on the fact that He is coming soon!
For more information on this subject, see The Handwriting on the Wall
study guides by David Jeremiah.