Category: end times

The main passage in the Bible that mentions the “mark of the beast” is Revelation 13:15-18. Other references can be found in Revelation 14:9, 11, 15:2, 16:2, 19:20, and 20:4. This mark acts as a seal for the followers of Antichrist and the false prophet (the spokesperson for the Antichrist). The false prophet (the second beast) is the one who causes people to take this mark. The mark is literally placed in the hand or forehead and is not simply a card someone carries.

The recent breakthroughs in medical implant chip and RFID technologies have increased interest in the mark of the beast spoken of in Revelation chapter 13. It is possible that the technology we are seeing today represents the beginning stages of what may eventually be used as the mark of the beast. It is important to realize that a medical implant chip is not the mark of the beast. The mark of the beast will be something given only to those who worship the Antichrist. Having a medical or financial microchip inserted into your right hand or forehead is not the mark of the beast. The mark of the beast will be an end-times identification required by the Antichrist in order to buy or sell, and it will be given only to those who worship the Antichrist.

Many good expositors of Revelation differ widely as to the exact nature of the mark of the beast. Besides the implanted chip view, other speculations include an ID card, a microchip, a barcode that is tattooed into the skin, or simply a mark that identifies someone as being faithful to the Antichrist’s kingdom. This last view requires the least speculation, since it does not add any more information to what the Bible gives us. In other words, any of these things are possible, but at the same time they are all speculations. We should not spend a lot of time speculating on the precise details.

The meaning of 666 is a mystery as well. Some have speculated that there was a connection to June 6, 2006—06/06/06. However, in Revelation chapter 13, the number 666 identifies a person, not a date. Revelation 13:18 tells us, “This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.” Somehow, the number 666 will identify the Antichrist. For centuries Bible interpreters have been trying to identify certain individuals with 666. Nothing is conclusive. That is why Revelation 13:18 says the number requires wisdom. When the Antichrist is revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4), it will be clear who he is and how the number 666 identifies him.

The Bible does not use the phrase “one-world government” or “one-world currency” in referring to the end times. It does, however, provide ample evidence to enable us to draw the conclusion that both will exist under the rule of the Antichrist in the last days.

In his apocalyptic vision in the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John sees the “beast,” also called the Antichrist, rising out of the sea having seven heads and ten horns (Revelation 13:1). Combining this vision with Daniel’s similar one (Daniel 7:16-24), we can conclude that some sort of world system will be inaugurated by the beast, the most powerful “horn,” who will defeat the other nine and will begin to wage war against Christians. The ten-nation confederacy is also seen in Daniel’s image of the statue in Daniel 2:41-42, where he pictures the final world government consisting of ten entities represented by the ten toes of the statue. Whoever the ten are and however they come to power, Scripture is clear that the beast will either destroy them or reduce their power to nothing more than figureheads. In the end, they will do his bidding.

John goes on to describe the ruler of this vast empire as having power and great authority, given to him by Satan himself (Revelation 13:2), being followed by and receiving worship from “all the world” (13:3-4), and having authority over “every tribe, people, language and nation” (13:7). From this description, it is logical to assume that this person is the leader of a one-world government which is recognized as sovereign over all other governments. It’s hard to imagine how such diverse systems of government as are in power today would willingly subjugate themselves to a single ruler, and there are many theories on the subject. A logical conclusion is that the disasters and plagues described in Revelation as the seal and trumpet judgments (chapters 6-11) will be so devastating and create such a monumental global crisis that people will embrace anything and anyone who promises to give them relief.

Once entrenched in power, the beast (Antichrist) and the power behind him (Satan) will move to establish absolute control over all peoples of the earth to accomplish their true end, the worship Satan has been seeking ever since being thrown out of heaven (Isaiah 14:12-14). One way they will accomplish this is by controlling all commerce, and this is where the idea of a one-world currency comes in. Revelation 13:16-17 describes some sort of satanic mark which will be required in order to buy and sell. This means anyone who refuses the mark will be unable to buy food, clothing or other necessities of life. No doubt the vast majority of people in the world will succumb to the mark simply to survive. Again, verse 16 makes it clear that this will be a universal system of control where everyone, rich and poor, great and small, will bear the mark on their hand or forehead. There is a great deal of speculation as to how exactly this mark will be affixed, but the technologies that are available right now could accomplish it very easily.

Those who are left behind after the Rapture of the Church will be faced with an excruciating choice—accept the mark of the beast in order to survive or face starvation and horrific persecution by the Antichrist and his followers. But those who come to Christ during this time, those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 13:8), will choose to endure, even to martyrdom.

An all inspiring and historical video on the coming and prophecies of Daniel. Lengthy but well worthy of your time (placed on my side bar)

Revelation 4:1 introduces a section of Scripture that details “things which must be hereafter.” What follows are prophecies of the “end times.” We have not yet reached the tribulation, the revelation of the Antichrist, or other “end-time” events. What we do see is a “preparation” for those events.

Jesus said that the last days would be preceded by several things: many false Christs would come, deceiving many; we would “hear of wars and rumors of wars”; and there would be an increase in “famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:5-8). Today’s news is full of false religions, warfare, and natural disasters. We know that events of the tribulation period will include all that Jesus predicted (Revelation 6:1-8); current events seem to be a build-up for greater trouble ahead.

Paul warned that the last days would bring a marked increase in false teaching. “In later times, some will abandon the faith, and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). The last days are described as “perilous times” because of the increasingly evil character of man and because of people who actively “oppose the truth” (2 Timothy 3:1-9; also see 2 Thessalonians 2:3). The list of things people will be in the last days—lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power—(2 Timothy 3:1-2) seems to fit our modern age exactly.

Can there be any doubt that the prophecies concerning apostasy are being fulfilled? Our 21st-century world has embraced moral relativism, a philosophy which is tainting even the church. For example, many denominations are having a hard time defining marriage as being between one man and one woman, and many religious leaders today are openly supporting homosexuality. The Bible has become subordinate to the modern church’s quest for a more appealing “truth.” These are indeed “perilous times” spiritually.

The formation of the European Union—and the fact that we have a reunified Germany—is very interesting in light of biblical prophecy. The “ten toes” of Daniel 2:42 and the ten-horned beasts of Daniel 7:20 and Revelation 13:1 are references to a “revived” Roman Empire which will hold power before Christ returns. Although the precise political structure has yet to be formed, the pieces can be seen as falling into place.

In 1948, Israel was recognized as a sovereign state, and this, too, has ramifications for the student of Scripture. God promised Abram that his posterity would have Canaan as “an everlasting possession” (Genesis 17:8), and Ezekiel prophesied a physical and spiritual resuscitation of Israel (Ezekiel 37). Having Israel as a nation in its own land is important in light of end-time prophecy, because of Israel’s prominence in eschatology (Daniel 10:14; 11:41; Revelation 11:8).

While there is no biblical proof that the things mentioned above are the fulfillment of specific end-times prophecies, we can see how many of these events are similar to what the Bible describes. In any case, we are to be watching for these signs because Jesus told us that the day of the Lord—His return for His own—would come like a thief in the night (2 Peter 3:10), unexpected and unannounced. “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36).

Often, people experience anxiety when they think about the future; however, it does not have to be that way. For those who know God, thoughts of the future bring eagerness and comfort. For example, describing a woman who knows and trusts God, Proverbs 31:25 says, “She smiles at the future.”

Two key thoughts to keep in mind about the future are, first, God is sovereign and in control over everything. He knows the future and absolutely controls what will happen. The Bible says, “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’ . . . Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it” (Isaiah 46:9–11, emphasis added).

The second thing to remember about the future is that the Bible outlines what will occur in “the end times” or “latter days.” Because the Bible is God’s revelation to humankind, and because God knows and controls the future (as Isaiah says above), then it stands to reason that when the Bible speaks about what will occur in the future, we can believe it. Concerning predictions about the future, the Bible says, “No prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:21). This truth is evident in the fact that, unlike the false prophecies made in other religions or by individuals such as Nostradamus, the Bible has never once been wrong – every time the Bible has predicted a future event, it happened exactly as Scripture said it would.

When considering how to understand and survive in the end times, answer these three questions:

1. How should I interpret what the Bible says about the future (biblical prophecy)?
2. What does the Bible say will happen in the end times?
3. How should what the Bible says about the future affect the way I live today?

How to Interpret Biblical Prophecy
There are a number of viewpoints on what methods should be used when interpreting passages concerning the end times. While there are good people espousing different beliefs, there is good reason to believe that biblical prophecy should be interpreted (1) literally, (2) with a futurist view, and (3) in what is called a “premillennial” manner. Encouraging a literal interpretation is the fact that there are over 300 prophecies that concern the first coming of Christ, all of which were literally fulfilled. The predictions surrounding the Messiah’s birth, life, betrayal, death and resurrection were not fulfilled allegorically or in a spiritual manner. Jesus literally was born in Bethlehem, performed miracles, was betrayed by a close friend for 30 pieces of silver, was pierced in His hands and feet, died with thieves, was buried in a rich man’s tomb, and was resurrected three days after His death. All these details were predicted hundreds of years before Jesus was born and were literally fulfilled. And, while there is symbolism used in various prophecies (e.g., dragons, horsemen, etc.), all of it portrays literal beings or events, in much the same way as Jesus is spoken of as a lion and a lamb.

Regarding a futurist view, the Bible clearly states that prophetic books like Daniel and Revelation contain not only accounts of historical events, but also predictions of future events. After John was given his messages for the churches of his day, he received visions concerning what would occur in the end times. John was told, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things” (Revelation 4:1, emphasis added).

Perhaps an even stronger argument for a futurist view involves the promises God made to Abraham (cf. Genesis 12 & 15) concerning the land of Israel. Since God’s covenant with Abraham was unconditional, and His promises have not yet been fulfilled to Abraham’s descendants, then a futurist view of the promises to Israel is warranted.

Lastly, with respect to prophecy being interpreted in a “premillennial” manner, this means that, first, the church will be Raptured, then the world will experience a seven-year Tribulation period, and then Jesus Christ will return to reign over the earth for 1,000 literal years (Revelation 20).

But what does the Bible say will happen before then?

What Does the Bible Say Will Happen in the End Times?
Sadly, the Bible predicts a downward spiral of catastrophes, human sin, and religious apostasy before Christ returns. Paul writes, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. . . . Evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:1, 13). The world will continue to reject God, His Word, and His people.

Some day in the future – a day no one knows – God will end the Church Age which began in the first century on Pentecost (cf. Acts 2) with an event known as the Rapture. At that time, God removes all believers in Christ from the earth in preparation for His final judgments. Of the Rapture, Paul says, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:14–18).

The erosion of peace and increase of turmoil that precedes the Rapture will reach epic proportions when untold numbers of people disappear from the earth. Such an event will cause panic and demands for a strong leader who will have answers to all the world’s problems. Preparation for this leader has been in progress for some time, as historian Arnold Toynbee has noted, “By forcing on mankind more and more lethal weapons, and at the same time making the world more and more interdependent economically, technology has brought mankind to such a degree of distress that we are ripe for the deifying of any new Caesar who might succeed in giving the world unity and peace.” Out of a revived Roman Empire, one that is organized in a European ten-constituency fashion (cf. Daniel 7:24; Revelation 13:1), the Antichrist will arise and sign a covenant with the nation of Israel, which will officially begin God’s prophetic seven-year countdown to Christ’s second coming (cf. Daniel 9:27).

For three and a half years, the Antichrist will reign over the earth and promise peace, but it is a false peace which will entrap the people of the earth. The Bible says, “While they are saying, ‘Peace and safety!’ then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3). Wars, earthquakes, and famines will escalate (cf. Matthew 24:7) until the end of the Antichrist’s 3.5-year reign, when he will enter a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and proclaim himself to be God and demand worship (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Matthew 24: 15). It is at that point that the true God responds to the challenge. For another 3.5 years, a Great Tribulation will occur, such as has never before been seen. Jesus predicted, “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short” (Matthew 24:21–22).

Untold loss of life and destruction of the earth will occur during the Great Tribulation. Also, large numbers will come to faith in Christ, yet many will do so at cost of their lives. God will still be in control as He gathers the unbelieving armies of the world in order to judge them. Of this event, the prophet Joel wrote, “I will gather all the nations And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people” (Joel 3:2). John records the battle this way: “And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon [Satan] and out of the mouth of the beast [the Antichrist] and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. . . . And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon” (Revelation 16:13–16).

At this point, the Messiah Jesus will return, destroy His enemies, and claim the world, which is rightfully His. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’ Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in mid-heaven, ‘Come, assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.’ And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh” (Revelation 19:11–21).

After Christ has defeated all the armies gathered in the valley of Armageddon, He will reign with His saints for one thousand years and fully restore Israel to her land. At the end of a thousand years, a final judgment of the nations and all remaining mankind will occur, which is then followed by an eternal state: either spent with God or separated from Him (cf. Revelation 20-21).

The above events are not speculations or possibilities – they are exactly what will take place in the future. Just as all the Bible’s prophecies of Christ’s first coming came true, so will all the Bible’s prophecies of His second coming.

Given the truth of these prophecies, what impact should they have on us now? Peter asks this question: “Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! ” (2 Peter 3:11–12).

The Effect of Bible Prophecy on Us Today
There are four responses we should have to Bible prophecy. The first is obedience, which is what Peter speaks of in the verses above. Jesus continually tells us to be ready for His coming, which could happen at any time (cf. Mark 13:33-37) and to live in such a way that we are not ashamed of our behavior.

The second response is worship. God has provided a way to escape His end-time judgments—His free gift of salvation offered through Jesus. We must be sure we receive His salvation and live in gratitude before Him. Our worship on earth will one day become worship in heaven: “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation’” (Revelation 5:9).

The third response is proclamation. The message of God’s salvation and the truth of His second coming need to be proclaimed for all to hear, especially to those who don’t yet believe. We must give everyone the chance to turn to God and be saved from His coming wrath. Revelation 22:10 says, “And he said to me, ‘Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.’”

The last response to God’s prophetic Word is service. All believers should be diligent about carrying out God’s will and performing good works. Part of Christ’s judgments will be of the works performed by believers. They do not determine a Christian’s acceptance into heaven, but they do show what each believer did with the gifts given him or her by God. Paul says of this judgment, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

In summation, God is sovereign over all events and people of the world. He is firmly in control of everything and will bring a perfect end to everything He has started. An old Christian song puts it like this: “All is God’s creation … Fashioned by One hand … Satan and Salvation … Under One command.”

Fulfilled prophecy is one proof that the Bible is a supernatural book. Hundreds of Old Testament prophecies have already been fulfilled, and it is reasonable to conclude that what it says about the end times will be fulfilled as well. For those who know Jesus and have trusted Him as their Lord and Savior, His coming will be their blessed hope (cf. Titus 2:13). But for those who have rejected Christ, He will be their holy terror (cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:8). The bottom line is this: to survive the end times, make sure you are a believer in Christ: “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

The Bible has a lot to say about the end times. Nearly every book of the Bible contains prophecy regarding the end times. Taking all of these prophecies and organizing them can be difficult. Following is a very brief summary of what the Bible declares will happen in the end times.

Christ will remove all born-again believers from the earth in an event known as the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54). At the judgment seat of Christ, these believers will be rewarded for good works and faithful service during their time on earth or will lose rewards, but not eternal life, for lack of service and obedience (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

The Antichrist (the beast) will come into power and will sign a covenant with Israel for seven years (Daniel 9:27). This seven-year period of time is known as the “tribulation.” During the tribulation, there will be terrible wars, famines, plagues, and natural disasters. God will be pouring out His wrath against sin, evil, and wickedness. The tribulation will include the appearance of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, and the seven seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments.

About halfway through the seven years, the Antichrist will break the peace covenant with Israel and make war against it. The Antichrist will commit “the abomination of desolation” and set up an image of himself to be worshipped in the Jerusalem temple (Daniel 9:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10), which will have been rebuilt. The second half of the tribulation is known as “the great tribulation” (Revelation 7:14) and “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7).

At the end of the seven-year tribulation, the Antichrist will launch a final attack on Jerusalem, culminating in the battle of Armageddon. Jesus Christ will return, destroy the Antichrist and his armies, and cast them into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:11-21). Christ will then bind Satan in the Abyss for 1000 years and He will rule His earthly kingdom for this thousand-year period (Revelation 20:1-6).

At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be released, defeated again, and then cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-10) for eternity. Christ then judges all unbelievers (Revelation 20:10-15) at the great white throne judgment, casting them all into the lake of fire. Christ will then usher in a new heaven and new earth and the New Jerusalem—the eternal dwelling place of believers. There will be no more sin, sorrow, or death (Revelation 21–22).

A common tactic of Satan is to imitate or counterfeit the things of God in order  to make himself appear to be like God. What is commonly referred to as the  “unholy trinity,” described vividly in Revelation 12 and 13, is no exception.  The Holy Trinity consists of God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy  Spirit. Their counterparts in the unholy trinity are Satan, the Antichrist,  and the False Prophet. While the Holy Trinity  is characterized by infinite truth, love, and goodness, the unholy trinity  portrays the diametrically opposite traits of deception, hatred, and  unadulterated evil.

Revelation 12 and 13 contain prophetic passages that  describe some of the main events and the figures involved during the second half  of the seven-year Tribulation period. Although many Bible passages allude to  Satan in various forms, such as a serpent or an angel of light, he is described  in Revelation  12:3 as a “great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven  crowns upon his heads” (Revelation  12:3). The color red indicates his vicious and homicidal personality. The  seven heads symbolize seven evil kingdoms that Satan has empowered and used  throughout history to attempt to prevent God’s ultimate plan from coming to  fruition. Five of the kingdoms had already come and gone—Egypt, Assyria,  Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece.

All these kingdoms severely oppressed  and persecuted the Hebrews, killing many of them. Satan’s intent was to prevent  the birth of Christ (Revelation  12:4). The sixth kingdom, Rome, was still in existence during the writing of  this prophecy. Under Roman rule, King Herod murdered Hebrew babies around the  time of Christ’s birth and Pontius Pilate ultimately authorized the crucifixion  of Jesus. The seventh kingdom, which is more fierce and cruel than the others,  will be the final world kingdom that the Antichrist forms during the end times.  These kingdoms were also prophesied in Daniel, chapters 2 and 7. The seven  crowns represent universal rule, and ten horns represent complete world power or  authority.

Revelation 12 indicates many important facts about Satan.  Satan and one-third of the angels were cast out of heaven during a rebellion  before the world began (Revelation  12:4). The Archangel Michael and the other angels will make war with Satan  and his demons, and Satan will be excluded from heaven forever (Revelation 12:7-9). In  his attempt to prevent God’s fulfillment of His earthly kingdom, Satan will  attempt to annihilate the Jews, but God will supernaturally protect a remnant of  the Jews in a location outside of Israel for the last 42 months of the  Tribulation (Revelation12: 6,13-17; Matthew  24:15-21).

The second member of the unholy trinity is the Beast or  Antichrist described in Revelation 13 and Daniel 7. The beast comes out of the  sea, which typically in the Bible refers to the Gentile nations. He also has  seven heads and ten horns, indicating his connection to and indwelling by Satan.  The ten horns indicate ten seats of world government that will provide power to  the Antichrist, three of which will be totally yielded to or taken over by the  Antichrist (Daniel 7:8).  The number ten also indicates completion or totality, in other words, a  one-world government. The one-world government will be blasphemous, denying the  true God. The final kingdom will possess traits in common with the former “beast  kingdoms” of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and particularly Rome (Revelation13: 2; Daniel 7:7, 23). Revelation  13:3 seems to indicate that the Antichrist will be mortally wounded about  halfway through the Tribulation, but Satan will miraculously heal his wound. (Revelation 13:3, 17:8-14). After this wondrous event, the world will be  totally enthralled by the Antichrist. They will worship Satan and the Antichrist  himself (Revelation  13:4-5). The Antichrist becomes emboldened and, dispensing with all  pretenses of being a peaceful ruler, he openly blasphemes God, breaks his peace  treaty with the Jews, attacks believers and the Jews, and desecrates the rebuilt  Jewish temple, setting himself up as the one to be worshipped (Revelation 13:4-7, Matthew 24:15.) This  particular event has been called the Abomination of Desolation.

The  final personage of the unholy trinity is the False Prophet, described in Revelation 13:11-18. This second beast comes out of the  earth, not the sea, possibly indicating that he will be an apostate Jew coming  from Israel. Although he presents himself as a meek, mild and benevolent person,  the horns indicate that he will have power. Jesus expressly warned believers to  watch out for false prophets that may look innocent but actually can be very  destructive (Matthew  7:15). The False Prophet speaks like a dragon, meaning that he will speak  persuasively and deceptively to turn humans away from God and promote the  worship of the Antichrist and Satan (Revelation 13:11-12). The False Prophet is capable of  producing great signs and wonders, including coming forth fire from heaven (Revelation  13:13). He sets up an image of the Antichrist for worship, gives life to the  image, demands the worship of the image from all people, and executes those who  refuse to worship the image (Revelation 13:14-15). Revelation  20:4 indicates that the executions will occur by the guillotine.

The  False Prophet will also compel each person to receive a permanent mark, tattoo,  or brand, just as slaves did in John’s day, to show total devotion to the  Antichrist and renunciation of God. Only those who receive the mark will be  permitted to engage in commerce. Acceptance of the mark means eternal death (Revelation  14:10). The Bible makes clear that humans will fully understand that by  accepting the mark, they are not only accepting an economic system but also a  worship system that rejects Jesus Christ. Revelation  13:18 reveals the number of the Beast—666. No one knows precisely what this  means. Some believe that the Antichrist’s first, middle, and last names will  have six letters each. Some believe that the designation refers to a computer  chip, since some computer programs start with 666.

Satan is the  anti-God, the Beast is the anti-Christ, and the False Prophet is the  anti-spirit. This unholy trinity will persecute believers and deceive many  others, resulting in their eternal death. But God’s kingdom will prevail. Daniel 7:21-22 states, “I  was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and  prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made  in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to  possess the kingdom.”

Eschatology is the study of what the Bible says is going to happen in the end  times. Many treat Eschatology as an area of theology to be avoided. Of course,  Eschatology is not as crucial as Christology or Soteriology. That does not mean,  though, that it is unimportant to a Biblical worldview. How we understand  Eschatology has an impact on how we should live our lives and what we are to  expect to occur in God’s plan. Some important issues in Eschatology are  these:

What is the Rapture? The word “rapture”  does not occur in the Bible. The concept of the Rapture, though, is clearly  taught in Scripture. The Rapture of the church is the event in which God removes  all believers from the earth in order to make way for His righteous judgment to  be poured out on the earth during the Tribulation period.

When  is the Rapture going to occur in relation to the Tribulation? Will the  Rapture occur before the Tribulation, at the middle of the Tribulation, or at  the end of the Tribulation?

What is the Second Coming and why is it  important? Why is it so important for Jesus Christ to return? When is Christ  going to return? What will be the signs of Christ’s return?

Is  the millennium literal or figurative? The fulfillment of many of God’s  covenants and promises rest on a literal, physical, future kingdom. There is no  solid basis to deny of literal understanding of the Millennial Kingdom and its  duration being 1000 years.

Will the  generation that saw Israel re-formed as a nation still be alive for the Second  Coming? It is not Scriptural to teach that the generation that sees Israel  become a nation will also see the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This may be the  case, but Scripture does not specifically say so.

The Bible describes a  terrible period of tribulation in Revelation chapters 6-18. Will this  Tribulation be preceded by the Rapture, will it conclude with the Rapture, or  has it in fact already occurred? These different perspectives have a great  impact on what we should be preparing ourselves for. Eschatology helps us to  understand the Bible’s prophetic passages and how to live our lives in response  to what God is going to do in the end times. There is a great deal of  controversy in Eschatology, but that does not relieve us of our responsibility  to study and understand what the Bible teaches about the end times. An  understanding of Eschatology will eliminate many of the fears we have about the  future. Our God is sovereign, He has a plan, and it will all unfold according to  His perfect will and timing. This is a great encouragement to those who are in  Christ!

A key verse on Eschatology is Titus 2:13:  “we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and  Savior, Jesus Christ.”

When people come to know Christ as their Savior, they are brought into a  relationship with God that guarantees their eternal security. Jude 24 declares, “To Him who is able to keep you from  falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with  great joy.” God’s power is able to keep the believer from falling. It is up to  Him, not us, to present us before His glorious presence. Our eternal security is  a result of God keeping us, not us maintaining our own salvation.

The  Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never  perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to  me, is greater than all, no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29b).  Both  Jesus and the Father have us firmly grasped in their hand. Who could possibly  separate us from the grip of both the Father and the Son?

Ephesians 4:30 tells us  that believers are “sealed for the day of redemption.” If believers did not have  eternal security, the sealing could not truly be unto the day of redemption, but  only to the day of sinning, apostasy, or disbelief. John  3:15-16 tells us that whoever believes in Jesus Christ will “have eternal  life.” If a person were to be promised eternal life, but then have it taken  away, it was never “eternal” to begin with. If eternal security is not true, the  promises of eternal life in the Bible would be in error.

The most  powerful argument for eternal security is Romans  8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor  demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor  depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the  love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Our eternal security is based on  God’s love for those whom He has redeemed. Our eternal security is purchased by  Christ, promised by the Father, and sealed by the Holy Spirit.

 Revelation  22:19 says, “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of  this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of  the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” This verse  is usually involved in the debate concerning eternal security. Does Revelation 22:19 mean  that after a person’s name is written in the Lamb’s  Book of Life, it can at some time in the future be erased? In other words,  can a Christian lose his salvation?

First, Scripture is clear that a  true believer is kept secure by the power of God, sealed for the day of  redemption (Ephesians  4:30), and of all those whom the Father has given to the Son, He will lose  none of them (John 6:39).  The Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed, “I give them eternal life, and they shall  never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given  them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand”  (John  10:28-29b). Salvation is God’s work, not ours (Titus 3:5),  and it is His power that keeps us.

If the “anyone” referred to in Revelation  22:19 are not believers, who are they? In other words, who might want to  either add to or take away from the words of the Bible? Most likely, this  tampering with God’s Word would be done not by true believers but by those who  only profess to be Christians and who suppose that their names are in the Book  of Life. Generally speaking, the two main groups who have traditionally tampered  with the Revelation are pseudo-Christian cults and those who hold to very  liberal theological beliefs. Many cults and theological liberals claim the name  of Christ as their own, but they are not “born again”—the definitive biblical  term for a Christian.

The Bible cites several examples of those who  thought they were believers, but whose profession was proven to be false. In  John 15, Jesus refers to them as branches that did not remain in Him, the true  Vine, and therefore did not produce any fruit. We know they are false because  “by their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew  7:16, 20); true  disciples will exhibit the fruit of the Holy Spirit who resides within them (Galatians 5:22). In 2 Peter 2:22, false  professors are dogs returning to their own vomit and a sow who “after washing  herself returns to wallow in the mire” (ESV). The barren branch, the dog, and  the pig are all symbols of those who profess to have salvation, but who have  nothing more than their own righteousness to rely upon, not the righteousness of  Christ which truly saves.

It is doubtful that those who have repented of  their sin and been born again would willingly tamper with God’s Word in this  way—adding to it or taking from it. Of course, we recognize that good people  have sincerely held differences in the area of textual criticism! But it can be  demonstrated how cultists and liberals have repeatedly done both “adding to” and  “taking away from.” Thus, we can understand God’s warning in Revelation 22:19 in  this manner: Anyone who tampers with this crucial message will find that God did  not place his name in the Book of Life, will be denied access to the Holy City,  and will forfeit any expectation of all the good things He promises to His  saints in this book.

From a purely logical standpoint, why would the  sovereign and omniscient God—He who knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10)—write a name  in the Book of Life when He knows He will only have to erase it when that person  eventually apostatizes and denies the faith? Additionally, if you read this  warning within the context of the paragraph in which it appears—Revelation  22:6-19—you can clearly see God remains consistent in His theology: only  those who have taken heed of His warnings, repented and been born again will  have any good to look forward to in eternity. All others, sadly, have a terrible  and terrifying future awaiting them.

Revelation  3:5 is another verse that impacts this issue. “He who overcomes . . . I will  never blot out his name from the book of life.” The “overcomer” mentioned in  this letter to Sardis is the Christian. Compare this with 1 John 5:4: “Everyone who is  born of God overcomes the world.” And verse 5: “Who is he that overcomes the  world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (See also 1 John 2:13.) All believers  are “overcomers” in that they have been granted victory over the sin and  unbelief of the world.

Some people see in Revelation  3:5 the picture of God’s pen poised, ready to strike out the name of any  Christian who sins. They read into it something like this: “If you mess up and  don’t win the victory, then you’re going to lose your salvation! In fact, I will  erase your name from the Book of Life!” But this is NOT what the verse says.  Jesus is giving a promise here, not a warning.

Never does Scripture say  that God erases a believer’s name from the Book of Life—there is never even a  warning that He is contemplating it! The wonderful promise of Revelation 3:5 is that  Jesus will NOT erase one’s name. Speaking to the “overcomers”—all those redeemed  by the blood of the Lamb—Jesus gives His word that He will not delete their  names. He affirms that once a name is there, it is there forever. This is based  on the faithfulness of God.

The promise of Revelation  3:5 is directed to believers, who are secure in their salvation. In  contrast, the warning of Revelation  22:19 is directed to unbelievers, who, rather than change their hearts  toward God, attempt to change God’s Word to suit themselves.