THE FIRST RIDER

Part VI

By Rev. Adauto Rezende

 

The last offensive of the Antichrist

 

Satan has always known his destiny. The Bible says that he is already judged, guilty and without redemption.  

It is unknown when or where God prepared it, however, the Scriptures tell of a place, where the devil and his demons will spend eternity, called "Lake of Fire".[1] In the book of Revelation, chapter twelve, verse twelve it says: "But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you!  He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."

Knowing the divine timetable and his destiny, this evil being is relentlessly working to populate his eternal habitation.[2] While much of humanity refuses the grace and love from the Creator, revealed on Calvary through the death of Christ, Satan blinds their understanding making them idolatrous and rebellious, despising the eternal salvation; they served and followed the devil, walking to their inevitable destiny: cast out forever from the presence of God.

The Adversary has operated on earth since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, however, in the last days; he will use all his demonic power for two purposes,

1) Transfer his authority to the Antichrist:

2) Pursue faithful Christians

After the rapture of the church, as we already mentioned, the seven cups of God's wrath will be poured out on the world, devastating the kingdom of the false messiah. After the plagues have fallen on his empire, the Man of Sin, encouraged by Satan, will still insist on his self-deception: believing that he is God. He will also rely on irremediable humanity, the enemy of the Creator as pointed out in our previous studies. In the face of the imminent judgment, they will blaspheme the Lord, when they should glorify Him and repent of their evil works. In this scenery, the Beast, together with its false prophet and Satan, will assemble an army of two hundred million soldiers for an apocalyptic battle much expressed in the Bible. Some Old Testament prophets described it as "The Lord's Day." Jesus will return in glory, at a unique moment in the history of man.

Notes:

[1] “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur…” Revelation 20: 10

[2] “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Mathew 25: 41

The prophets Joel and Zephaniah wrote:

  • “Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming.is close at hand..."[3]

 

  • “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine..."[4]

  • “The great day of the Lord is near—near and coming quickly. The cry on the day of the Lord is bitter; the Mighty Warrior shouts his battle cry. That day will be a day of wrath—a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness."[5]

 

  • “Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord’s wrath.” In the fire of his jealousy the whole earth will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live on the earth.”[6]

 

God will deliver this ungodly humanity to their very poison they have created; the Almighty will expose their lies, hatred, deceit, pride and depravity of their wicked hearts. The Lord will reveal the hypocrisy of many powerful people, bringing to light the truth about their philanthropies and humanitarianism. Many millionaires of our century with their pseudo-charitable foundations, which are nothing more than masks to hide their true Machiavellian identities and, deceive the unwary, however, the Word of God, will confront them: “Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”[7] 

 

The false religion of the Beast's empire will be controlled by a leader called “The False Prophet”, has at its core the same deceptive spirit of the powerful ones that I stated above, “Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb.” [8] It is presented and represented by the meekest animal on earth: the lamb, which in Scripture symbolizes Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. The charismatic style of this second leader will be essential to complete the domain of the Antichrist. He would have three powers supporting him: the satanic, political and religious ones. The second part of the verse says, “but it spoke like a dragon.”[9] This person will have the same spirit as the first one, of course coming from the devil. The meaning of speaking like the dragon, is to blaspheme God, to exalt Satan and to deceive men, therefore, he will compel people to worship the devil and the Antichrist. The fusion of these anti-God powers will be the means to prepare their military arsenals including, their scientific and technological inventions to fight, the One who will come to exterminate them.

Notes:

[3] Joel 2:1

[4] Joel 3:14,15

[5] Zephaniah 1:18

[6] Zephaniah 1: 18

[7] James 3:11,12

[8] Revelation 13:11

[9] Revelation 13:11

It will be a different time, where the Earth will live under a government entirely controlled by the god they have chosen. Possibly, with particles of DNA from the Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman empires, with its representing glory and power of gold, silver, copper and iron, the metals part of the giant statue that Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king saw in a dream, interpreted by the prophet Daniel[10]. At the conclusion of the prophetic narrative, the statue's feet and fingers remaining, portrayed as iron and clay, symbolizing the ten world leaders who will hand over their power to the representative of the irredeemable human race controlled by Satan, whose number is 666[11], the number of man.

Conditioned to the new regime, no one will survive without total submission to the rules of their leader. Without his mark, no one will buy or sell.[12] Controlling the entire world economy; either man bow their heads before the Beast and worship him, or they will lose it: “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”[13]

Notes:

[10] “Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. Daniel 2: 31-33

[11] “This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.” Revelation  13: 18

[12] “It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.” Revelation 13: 16-17

[13] Revelation 20:4

1. When the seven years are complete:

 

The satanic spirit controlling the beast will summon the mightiest world powers to the coming conflict cited. Satan, when he sees the end of the seven years (he knows the Scriptures), will go on his last attempt, preparing his army in both spheres, the natural and spiritual ones.[14] The battles will take place in both domains. It will be the Lord’s angels against Satan’s demons, the faithful remnant against the mighty army of the Antichrist.

  • “The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty...”[15]

 

2. The Jewish covenant with the Antichrist:

 

After the church’s rapture, as discussed earlier, the Gentiles during the Great Tribulation will in no way repent of their iniquities. Israel, maybe for the zeal to build the temple and for peace, will negotiate a pact, giving up perhaps part of the country, to acquire both. However, Daniel reveals the mistake of the future agreement and the consequences that will come to the nation. The temple will be desolate; the city of Jerusalem conquered, and the country dominated by the false messiah, and the Jews will find out that they have been deceived by the Antichrist.

 

While the Gentiles comply spontaneously and, with no restriction, the Jewish remnant will resist and rebel against the government of the Antichrist. The apostle Paul wrote about the lack of discernment of an enormous part of his people,[16] "Because I give you testimony that they have a zeal for God, but not with understanding."

  

In the middle of Daniel's week,[17] when the Antichrist breaks the treaty with Israel, ceasing sacrifices and offerings[18] and, desolating the Temple in Jerusalem, possibly by sitting on a throne in the sacred place demanding worship, as mentioned by Paul.[19] It is during this time, that part of a Jewish remnant will be divinely protected during the period of the Great Tribulation.[20] This group will have a substantial role in the apocalyptic outcome, according to John's narrative: “The woman[21] fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.”[22]

Notes:

[14] It is important to note that there has always been a spiritual warfare parallel to events in the natural field. Angels fought demons while Daniel prayed in Babylon (Daniel 10: 12-13). Michael, the archangel, and the angels fought against Satan, driving them out of the celestial realm (Revelation 12: 7-8)

[15] Revelation 16:12-14

[16] Romans 10: 2

[17] “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him” 9: 27

[18] “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.” Daniel 12: 11

[19] “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” 2 Thessalonian 2: 4

[20] Where will these people find refuge?

God will prepare a place for them until the end of the Great Tribulation.

When Queen Jezebel was looking for Elijah to kill him, the Lord sent him to the desert and then to Zarephath, a Gentile territory, where he was fed by the crows and then was cared for by a widow for exactly 3 ½ years (1 Kings 17: 2- 14, James 5:17)

[21] Who is this woman? “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.” Revelation 12: 1 - The women in this verse, many Bible scholars agree and I believe in it as well represents the nation of Israel. The concept is portrayed in one of Joseph’s dreams which he shared with his family, interpreted by his “skeptical” father Jacob:” Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” Genesis 37: 9-10

As in several passages, Israel is shown as a woman giving birth (Mary represents Israel, conceiving the Savior as Sarah, Rebekah and Jacob’s wives – “God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah.  I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.” Genesis 16: 15-16). See Genesis 24: 60).

“Writhe in agony, Daughter Zion, like a woman in labor, for now you must leave the city to camp in the open field.

You will go to Babylon; there you will be rescued. There the Lord will redeem you out of the hand of your enemies. Micah 4: 10

“Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor bears a son, and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites.” Micah 5: 3

[22] Revelation 12:6

3. Will the Jewish remnant be saved?

 

I insist on saying that there is no other method for man's salvation. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life; nobody goes to the Father, except through him,[23] no matter the race, the color or the sex. Peter declared, when he confronted some Jewish religious leaders, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”[24] Christ said, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.”[25] The Messiah affirmed to a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son...”[26] Among dozens of Bible verses claiming that Christ is the only way of salvation, I include the apostle John, describing in a heavenly vision what he saw and heard, “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation;”[27] Saying that it would be impossible for the Scriptures contradict itself. Only through Christ's sacrifice can a sinner enter heaven. In the verse above, John heard a choir composed of Asians, Europeans, Africans, Latinos, North American, and Jews. The blood of Jesus redeemed all of them, for, as stated, “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness...”[28]

 

Notes:

[23] John 14: 6

[24] Acts 4:12

[25] John 10: 9

[26] John 3:18

[27] Revelation 5:9

[28] Hebrews 9:22

4. The steps that will lead Israel to repentance:

 

The apostle Paul, explaining about Israel’s salvation, wrote: “Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved.”[29]

And then, he added, “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them  when I take away their sins.” As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you...”[30]

 

Notes:

[29] Romans 9:27

[30] Romans 11:25-31

 

4.1 The place of reunion:

 

“Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel, and because I will do this to you, Israel, prepare to meet your God.”.”[31]

The Lord had prepared a place to hide some Israelites from the Antichrist; He will also choose a place to meet the Jewish nation in His return. Jerusalem, the city where the Savior was rejected and crucified will be the scenario prepared by God, where the remnant will meet the King of glory. In those days hundreds of prophecies will be fulfilled in the face of the most anticipated day in the history of the Jews.

4.2 They love the city, however, they must praise its King:

When the Jews were taken captive to Babylon, the Psalmist described some details of the humiliating journey to the unwanted destination. He voiced in Psalm 137 his affinity with Jerusalem, the place of their worship, expressing his displeasure and his anguish, not only because of the shame to become a slave in a strange country, but also the sad reality of no longer being able to go to their Temple, which was demolished by the Babylonians (their captivity would last seventy years[32]). He shared the impossibility of his heart to forget their city, a symbol of the glory of its people. It is important to emphasize that this feeling is generational and, divinely impregnated in the soul of almost every Jew: “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land? If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy.”[33]

As I mentioned at the beginning of our study, about the divine mechanism, to protect the Jews from their enemies, it would seem to me that this remnant will come out of the hiding place and will recover Jerusalem as quoted by several prophets.[34]

Similar to Elijah that after three and a half years of exile he returned to Israel to confront the nation and to expose the false prophets and their pagan deity. Also, the Maccabees[35] revolt around 167 BC, after the desolation of the Temple by Antiochus Epiphanes; the Maccabee’s family fought against the invaders and, recovered Jerusalem from the Syrian tyrant.

In the same way, these zealous remnants, will regain control of the city, however, by the divine agenda the Antichrist’s army will be attracted to the Middle East and, eventually, the bloodiest[36] and the penultimate[37] world war will take place as we will discuss it.

Notes:

[31] Amos 4:12

[32] Prophetic word by Jeremiah 25:  11-12 “This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years. “But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,” declares the Lord, “and will make it desolate forever.”

[33] Psalm 137:1-6

[34] “You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.” Ezekiel 38: 16 – “On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.” Zachariah 12: 3

[35] The Jewish historian Josephus reported: Antiochus IV (Epiphanes), king of Syria, captured Jerusalem in 167 BC and desecrated the temple by offering the sacrifice of a pig on an altar to Zeus (the abomination of desolation). In seeking to outlaw Judaism and Hellenize Jews, Antiochus forbade their religious practices and ordered copies of the law to be burned, all of which are reported by Josephus in the Antiquities of the Jews (XII.5.4). In the account of 1 Maccabees, after Antiochus issued his decrees banning Jewish religious practice, a rural Jewish priest from Modiin, Matthias the Hasmonean, unleashed the revolt against the Seleucid Empire, refusing to worship the Greek.

gods. He then summoned the faithful religious Jews and fled with their children to the mountains, starting the resistance movement against foreign rule, destroying altars, circumcising boys and recovering the Torah from the hands of the Gentiles. After his death, about a year later, in 166 BC, his son Judas Maccabeus led an army of Jewish dissidents to victory over the Seleucid dynasty in a guerrilla, which was initially directed against Hellenistic Jews, of whom there were many. In 164 BC, Judas and his men managed to take Jerusalem and rededicate the Temple, in what would become known as the Feast of Hanukkah. “Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, which is the month of Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-eighth year, they rose and offered sacrifice, as the law directs, on the new altar of the burnt offering which they had built. At the very season and on the very day that the Gentiles had profaned it, it was dedicated with songs and harps and lutes and cymbals. Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of dedication of the altar should be observed with gladness and joy for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev.”(1 Maccabees 4: 52-54,59) The revolt involved many battles, in which the Maccabean armies gained notoriety among the Seleucid enemy for guerrilla tactics. After the victory, the Maccabees entered Jerusalem in triumph and ritually purified the Temple, reestablishing traditional Jewish worship and installing Jonathan Maccabees as the high priest. A large Seleucid army was sent to suppress the revolt but returned to Syria with the death of Antiochus IV. The Jewish festival of Hanukkah celebrates the re-dedication of the temple after Judas Maccabee's victory over the Seleucids.

[36] “The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia (300km)” Revelation 14: 19-20

[37] Penultimate, because the last war will happen just after the millennium: “When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.” Revelation 20: 7-9

Upon returning to the city and the temple, the enemies will surround the Jews. The army of the Antichrist will come as swarms of locusts, to annihilate the Hebrew revolt, which will apparently cause a bitter defeat for the Jews yet, the events, will happen in order to bring Israel to repentance and to bow down before the true Messiah, Jesus:

  • “I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city...”[38]

 

4.3 God will remove their spiritual blindness:

 

On one occasion, Jesus, looking at the city of Jerusalem, he said: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”[39]

About four decades later, the Lord's words were fulfilled and their house (nation) desolated for almost two thousand years until 1948 when the Jews finally returned to the Promised Land. Since the nation’s seventy-two anniversaries,[40] only a small portion of Jews accepted Jesus as their Messiah. Most of its population still resist or not even think to become Christians. Yet, at the end of the Great Tribulation, when the nation will be surrounded by millions; hopeless, in despair, and stunned, they will see in the sky an unexpected and glorious manifestation of the true Messiah:

 

  • “Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. 4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.”[41]

 

The transformation of the Jewish remnant will personify the conversion of Paul. It will happen, I think, very similar to the apostle’s encounter with Jesus, described in the Scriptures by Luke. The former Pharisee Saul, as they knew him, rejected Jesus as the Messiah and, obstinately persecuted the Christians trying to exterminate the movement that rapidly propagated everywhere in Jerusalem. Both in the Temple and in synagogues, they boldly announced the gospel, even under pressure and persecution from religious leaders, including Saul of Tarsus. Relentless and resentful, probably envious in the face of the amazing growth of Christianity, the young religious, set his goals to eliminate the newly formed and called by the religious authorities "The Nazarene’s Sect." He decided to extend persecution against the disciples beyond Israel. With official documents in hands, allowing the Pharisee to imprison whomever he would find practicing the new faith, which he considered his enemies, he travelled towards Damascus in Syria, drunk with pride and bitterness. Possibly, in his thoughts, he planned how to capture the infidels that had left Judaism, when suddenly a light from the sky dissipated the darkness of Saul's mind. The apostle John explained the light that shone on Damascus’s road that day, “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”[42]  Saul could not understand the light because he was in darkness and, spiritually dead, however, God had a destiny to the man and would bring him to his knee and to a new life’s direction: “He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”[43]

Notes:

[38]  Zachariah 14:2

[39] Matthew 23:37-39

[40] The resettlement of Israel. On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, head of the Jewish Agency, proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel. US President Harry S. Truman recognized the new nation on the same day.

[41] Zechariah 14:3,4

[42] John 1:4,5 

[43] Acts 9:4

Likewise, the hopeless Jews in Israel will see the same glorious light from heaven, perhaps many of them questioning, “Who are you, Lord?” They will, in the same way, hear an equal answer; “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”[44]

Humiliated and blind, the hands of his companions led the Apostle to the city, where his conversion to Christianity consummated. The Jewish people like Paul on the Damascus road, ashamed, defeated and spiritually blind will fall on their knees and surrender to the Lord, “and in this way all Israel will be saved.” “As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob...”[45]

The prophet Zechariah detailed Israel's encounter with Christ, describing the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication...”[46] Therefore, the passage says that at the same moment their spiritual blindness will be removed:

"AND THEY WILL LOOK ON ME ..."[47]

 

They will remember the Messiah that their ancestors had crucified: “... the one they have pierced...”[48]

 

Repented and sorrowful, they will prostrate and worship Jesus, the King of glory. The Lord will remove their heart of stone and, with a new heart; they will praise the one whom they had pierced:

  • “And they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives.”[49]

 

In doing so, the Word of God, “Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved.” “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[50]      

Notes:

[44] Zechariah 12:10-12

[45]  Romans 9:27,10:13

[46] Acts 9:5

[47] Romans 11: 26

[48] Zechariah 12:10

[49] Zechariah 12:10

[50] Zechariah 12:10

5. The fate of the antichrist and his kingdom:

 

The Bible reveals:

a) The place where the bloodiest battle in the history of mankind will take place

“Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.”[51]

 

b) The number of soldiers in the conflict

  • “The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard their number. The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur...”[52]

 

c) The controlling powers and their goals

 

The Man of Sin will have under his control the political, demonic, religious and, the military power for a single purpose: to fight against the Mighty Warrior whom they hate: Jesus Christ:

 

  • "The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb..."[53]

 

  • “Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army.”[54]

Notes:

[51] Revelation 16:16, Armageddon has its origin in the Hebrew expression har Megiddo, which means mount of Megiddo. In this place there were several battles relevant to the Hebrew people. 2 Chronicles 35:22 is called the valley of Megiddo. (see Judges 5:19)

[52] Revelation 9:16,17

[53] Revelation 17:12-14

[54] Revelation 19:19

6. The defeat of the wicked ones:

 

Reading again chapter six and verse two of Revelation, John wrote, “I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest...” This cruel being, crowned by ten powerful world legislators and strengthened by the devil, carries a bow, symbol of war, portrayed as a conqueror and also the leader of the last human kingdom in the world. Saying that I would like to make a contrast with the Messianic Psalm forty-five, which gives a prophetic allusion, of Jesus’s attributes, describing the glory, the virtues and the kingdom of the King. Through this Psalm, we will distinguish the particularities between the beast and Jesus Christ:

“Gird your sword on your side, you mighty one; clothe yourself with splendor and majesty. In your majesty ride forth victoriously in the cause of truth, humility and justice; let your right hand achieve awesome deeds. Let your sharp arrows pierce the hearts of the king’s enemies; let the nations fall beneath your feet. Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.”[55]

 

a) Jesus Christ

His character: Truth, humility and justice.

He achieved on the cross the amazing victory over the darkness, and by His words, the world will bow down before him. His throne will last forever, for he is the Mighty God.

b) The antichrist

Applying the words of the Psalm in the opposite sense, we could simulate it:

His peculiarities: Liar, cruel and unjust.

“The antichrist rides successfully with splendor and power; because of his lies, cruelty and injustice. He will perform outstanding deeds by intrigue and deception. His arrows are venom to pierce the hearts of Jesus’s friends. The nations will bow down to him, however, his throne is temporary, for he isn’t God, but man and his scepter of injustice will be the symbol of his kingdom.”

 

7. The beast and its annihilated kingdom:

 

Two hundred million soldiers, equipped with the most powerful military resources the world has ever seen[56]. These are destructive weapons that could destroy the planet, arsenals capable of annihilating entire cities, intercontinental missiles that could devastate nations in hours, laser armament systems and dozens of biological, chemical and electronic modern weapons. All of this power in the hands of the Antichrist, whose plan is to conquer the world or to decimate it, like many tyrants of the past, including most recently Hitler. Once again, history repeats itself. John describes the various allied armies of the Antichrist prepared to fight against God:

  • “Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army...”[57]

 

Nonetheless, the Lord will not allow the Man of Sin to succeed in his plans. He will intervene to prevent the destruction of the planet, imprisoning forever those who typified human wickedness, through political and religion perverted by sin:

 

  • “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords..”[58] 

 

  • “They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”[59]

  • “… the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur..”[60]  
     

8. The true conquerors

 

In his epistle to the Christians of Rome, he wrote the most precious promises to the people of God, to admonish them to remain faithful to Christ - ironically, the city where Nero, Diocletian, Maximian, Galerius, among other cruel and implacable emperors, who decimated thousands of Christians.

These evil kings used the cruelest forms of martyrdom such as burning, crucifying, beheading and delivering Christian to hungry beasts in the Roman Coliseum. The disciples chose to die, rather than deny their true Emperor and King, Jesus Christ.

The apostle Paul was often beaten, stoned, persecuted and imprisoned. In his last days, convicted and sentenced to death because of his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; inspired by the Holy Spirit, he assured Christians:

 

  •  “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us...”[61]

 

  • “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[62]

 

 

  • “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.”[63]

 

The former oppressor and apostle, who suffered the most for announcing the gospel,[64] and ultimately murdered for the love of Christ, had the divine conviction of a future blessings prepared for God's people. Therefore, no matter how many demons, Satan sends against us or the Antichrist and his followers’ conspiracies to persecute us, what weapons they might use to punish Jesus’s followers, they can never touch our precious souls, bought with blood: The blood of Jesus Christ.[65] They can crucify burn or throw us into the lions' den, yet, the true conqueror is not the Antichrist, it is God’s people, as described by Paul in the same chapter: “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”[66]
 

To God be the glory!

 

Notes:

[55] Psalm 45:4-6

[56] The mother of all bombs

China, Russia and the USA are on an alarming arms escalation.

Chinese arms industry giant Norinco first introduced a new type of aerial bomb in a promotional video. The images were released through government-linked communications and show how it was launched from a bomber and caused a huge explosion - Without revealing, however, other details of the alleged test. The American mass destruction, bomb GBU-43 / B Massive Ordnance Air Blast is a weapon with a GPS system that weighs about 9,800 kilograms, according to an article in the specialized publication Eglin Air Force Base. Each of these bombs costs about $16 million US, says the specialized defense portal Deagel. The United States has 20 of them.

And in this "battle" for the most powerful bomb, Russia is also not left out: Moscow claims to have the "father of all bombs", an artifact that, according to the Kremlin, is 4 times more powerful than that used by the USA in Afghanistan. (https://epocanegocios.globo.com/Mundo/noticia/2019/02/armas-de-alta-tecnologia-com-quais-china-desafia-o-poderio-militar-dos-eua-e-da-russia .html)

[57] Revelation 19:19

[58] Apocalipse 19: 11-16

[59] Apocalipse 17:14

[60] Apocalipse 19:20

[61] Romans 8:18

[62] Romans 8:35,36

[63] Romans 8:38,39

[64] “Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.” II Corinthians 11: 23=28

[65]“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”  I Peter 1: 18-19

[66] Romans 8:37