THE FIRST RIDER
By Rev. Adauto Rezende
How will he carry it out?
The Antichrist will have some audacious goals. Among them is to control the economy, governments, and world religions. As stated in our topic, how these events will be possible? Who will be his partnerships? What actions will he take to fulfill these ambitious goals? Will he be successful?
1. Certainly, to achieve his impetuous plan, he must have a series of allies covering all levels possible. Let's list some of the most important ones:
a) The devil
He has all of God’s enemies as his allies. The major one is Satan, who will supply him with power to deceive those who had rejected the true Messiah. John called him, “the dragon”, which is revealed later on in the book as: "He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan." Revelation 20: 2
“The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?” Revelation 13: 1-4
b) A powerful religious leader
Bearing in mind that a large part of the world's population, has some kind of religion, the Antichrist must count on the support of a single leader, probably, appointed by a powerful global ecumenical movement, who will represent all forms of religions on Earth. He will satisfy all forms of the eastern and western paganism:
"Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people.” Revelation 13: 11-13
c) A confederation of powerful world leaders
As I mentioned, the Antichrist will convince the leaders of the ten most powerful nations in his contemporary world to give him political autonomy. For those who are skeptical of this possibility, just look at the universities in the West. Its majority is impregnated with Marxist ideologies. Investigate and you will find that most first world leaders are strongly committed to globalism, a world without borders. All of this will certainly add up to the prophetic fulfillment, added to the support of the devil and the mentioned religious representative. In this way, it will not be difficult to obtain the authority to establish a global government:
It is the idea that events in one country cannot be separated from those in another and that economic and foreign policy should be planned in an international way. “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.” Revelation 17: 11-13
d) A powerful technological apparatus
As I mentioned in part I of our study, the beast is like a poisonous snake biting with its fangs, injecting the deadly venom and marking its victims. It is interesting to mention that the term "FANG” refers to the titles of the four most powerful American technological companies, namely: Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet.
The Antichrist will count on technological companies with such profiles, as a vehicle to mark and contaminate humanity. Many ambitious billionaires will be at the service of the Beast, giving scientific support to control the entire global financial network, thus fulfilling yet another prophecy written almost two thousand years ago:
“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
The term "FANG" refers to the stocks of four popular American technology companies: Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Alphabet. Each of the FANG companies has shown extraordinary growth in recent years, reflected in both their revenues and their net profits. Although their business models vary, they each share the use of advanced technologies to acquire and retain users.
2. He will deceive the world by:
The New Age movement at the end of the second millennium and Satanism had spread through the occult and metaphysical religious communities. According to their members, which are millions in our days, they are looking forward to a “New Age” of “love” and “light” and offered a foretaste of the coming era through personal transformation and healing. Their messiah is called “Maitreya", which they say is supposed to be the fifth reincarnation of Buddha. The world's Buddhists are already expecting Lord Maitreya to return to earth. In order to appeal to Christians, New Agers say Maitreya is the Christ. For Moslems he is the Iman Mahdi. For Hindus, he is Krishna.
These movement’s strongest supporters are followers of modern esotericism, a religious perspective based on the acquisition of mystical knowledge (Gnosticism, Freemasonry, theosophy and ritual magic). Traditional occult practices like tarot reading, astrology, yoga, and mediumship). In this pluralistic eastern/western paganism, global society will bow down to the antichrist as their desired messiah:
"It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth." Revelation 13: 12-14
“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing.” II Thessalonians 2: 9-10
“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24: 24
Total control of the world economy
When, 40 years ago, would we imagine these prophecies being fulfilled? Smart cards replacing money; in Sweden; thousands are switching to microchip implants, adhering to this new technology that will facilitate the fulfillment of the prophecy regarding the mark of the beast. The novelty becomes increasingly attractive, especially among young people. According to Scripture, the Antichrist will use methods like this to control and manage the global financial system:
"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
3. He will have freedom for 3 ½ years
God will restrict his world domination for exactly three and a half years. However, after this period, he will be completely free to act. The two prophets and the church will be raptured at the beginning of their reign, and the Holy Spirit will no longer act on the earth (as in Noah's day “And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh.” Genesis 6: 3.)
Remember, Daniel's last week will be seven years. The first phase (the three and a half years), the Antichrist, although present, will only be preparing for his world government. He will not be able to act or dominate the world due to the divine restriction of wickedness on earth. What will they be?
(It is important to recall that he will establish an alliance with Israel at the beginning of the seven years),
3.1 Jesus’s two witnesses
God will send two prophets that will not allow the Antichrist to govern with his full power. They will be controlling evil on earth for 3 ½ years, and during this time the world’s power will be incapable to resist these two Christ's servants.
“And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth. If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.” Revelation 11: 3-6
3.2. Christians are not going to give in to their wicked laws:
The church will resist and oppose the evil laws of the Man of Sin. I will detail below the reasons why I believe in the presence of the church on earth, acting on the nations, while the two prophets carry out their missions in Jerusalem.
We are going to open parenthesis in our study, to clarify a very important point that most evangelical denominations do not consider in their teachings. For them, the church will not suffer any form of persecution, being raptured at the beginning of Daniel's last week.
It is important to mention that at this time, in several nations, Christians are being oppressed, arrested, tortured and many executed. Today, Christianity is the most persecuted religion on earth, encompassing Western nations. Our hedonistic, materialistic and anti-God Society has become a strong enemy of Christianity, or anything related to the faithful church. The Bible states that things will become even more difficult as the days of the coming of the Lord approaches. Jesus did not leave us uninformed, warning us to be ready to face tribulations, persecutions, ostracism, animosity, and so on:
"And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved” Matthew 10: 22
“In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16: 33
“Strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14: 22
“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” II Timothy 3: 12
Therefore, we have to distinguish the difference between tribulation and wrath.
Look the definition of the Greek words in Scriptures:
a) Wrath - ὀργὴν – orgēn
The church will be spared from the wrath of God:
"and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath (orgēn)." I Thessalonians 1: 6-10
"For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath(orgēn )but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." I Thessalonians. 5: 9-11
b) Trials - θλῖψιν - thlipsin
But, not from trials or tribulations,
“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, (thlipsin) and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.” Matthew 24: 9
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: (thlipsin) but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16: 22
“And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, (θλίψεως - thlipseōs) and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Revelation 7: 14
i. The divine wrath will come upon the world:
“For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” Ephesians 5: 5-6
ii. This wrath will not come against God’s people:
“To wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” I Thessalonians 1: 10
“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ," I Thessalonians 5: 9
Jesus said that we would not face the wrath of God, because His death on the cross made atonement for our sins. In the court of heaven, Christians are considered innocent, because Christ's righteousness has been credited to our account, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” I John 4: 10
However, God's people have always faced tribulation. Since remote times they have always suffered persecution and, the most varied forms of martyrdom and atrocities as reported in Scripture and in history. “Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawn in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and ill-treated – the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.” Hebrews 11; 36-38
Daniel gives us the reasons why God will allow this to happen to His church during the tribulation.
Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.” Daniel 11: 35
“Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.” Daniel 12: 10
According to the Word of God, the tests will come to refine, purify (sanctify), in agreement with dozens of other passages related to the same topics:
“Just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5: 25-27
“Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.” Revelation 22: 11
Persecution will show who the true Christians are!
“And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.” Daniel 11: 35
"Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.” Daniel 12: 10
The Laodicea church age:
The Laodicea church was composed of a group of lukewarm and liberal "Christians", whom Jesus rebuked and called them to repentance. We live in times when thousands of Christians behave like them. As a result, the Lord will test in the last days, who are his true disciples, allowing huge persecution against His church. Recalling that Christ and the apostles warned us of an amazing growth of false Christs and false prophets, preaching an illegitimate gospel, telling pseudo-disciples what they would like to hear. These people have to be exposed, so when the trials and sufferings come, they will deny the true Jesus and follow the antichrist.
Reflect on the following verses:
“Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.” Revelation 12: 17
“And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.” Daniel 11: 33-35
Both passages declare the persecutions that will befall Christians in the end times. The verse in Revelation states that the devil will persecute the witnesses of Jesus Christ, so we have to assume without a doubt that these people are disciples of Christ, whether Jews or Gentiles. We can never assume that the verse refers to non-Christian Jewish people. This would betray the very context of the text. Daniel says that those who are knowledgeable will teach many, yet under tremendous persecution and martyrdom for many.
Questions: Who has the Word of Salvation to teach many? Is it Judaism, which denies that Jesus is the Christ? May any other religion that preaches a Christ who was never crucified? Could it be those who deny Jesus’s deity? The answer to this question is one: None of these religions can teach the truth; only the faithful Christians can do it. I will add the words of a Christian Jew preaching to Jewish religion’s leaders about Jesus. The Apostle Peter said to them: “Jesus is the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4: 11-12
4. He will overcome God’s people
The Lord will allow the Antichrist to inflict and oppress the church, which is nothing new. It has been happening since its establishment in the first century.
In chapter two of Revelation, the Christians in Smyrna had to face the same trials: "Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life." (Revelation 2: 10)
“It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.” Revelation 13: 7
“And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end;” Daniel 11: 33-35
“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.” Revelation 6: 2
The Antichrist targets
To establish his kingdom, the Man of Sin will persecute, torture and murder:
a) The two Jesus’s witnesses
We do not know of these two men's identities, although there are many speculations about them. The important thing is to know that both are servants of the Lord. The two messengers will also be martyred like many of God's prophets throughout history. The New Testament has dozens of examples from the beginning to the end of its pages. Herod's persecution of the newborn Christ, the extermination of hundreds of children in Bethlehem and the surrounding area, the murder of John the Baptist, eventually ends with the crucifixion and death of the Lord. The book of Acts presents the apostles’ flogged, Stephen stoned to death, James murdered by the sword and the constant sufferings of Paul and his partners on their missionary journeys:
“Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified.” Revelation 11: 7-8
b) The true followers of Christ during the tribulation
From the edge of the sea, the devil will summon his representative, the Antichrist, to begin his world dominium for three and a half years.
“And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.” Revelation 13: 1
As I mentioned, his first action is to kill both prophets and, intensify the persecution against the church.
Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.” Revelation 12: 17
“It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.” 13: 7
The rapture of the church will take place when the last trumpet resounds.
“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 11: 15
As described by Paul in two of his letters.
He is emphatic in both passages in relation to the event, succeeding the resounding of the “last trumpet”. Chronologically, not long after the rapture of the two witnesses:
“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” I Corínthians 15: 51-52
“According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” I Thessalonians 4: 15-17
Let’s move on to our next question: How will he rule the world?
To God be all the glory!
. Human body activity associated with a task provided to a user may be used in the mining process of a cryptocurrency system. A server may provide a task to a device of a user that is communicatively coupled to the server. A sensor communicatively coupled to or comprised in the device of the user may sense the body activity of the user. Body activity data may be generated based on the sensed body activity of the user. The cryptocurrency system communicatively coupled to the device of the user may verify if the body activity data satisfies one or more conditions set by the cryptocurrency system, and award cryptocurrency to the user whose body activity data is verified. (https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=WO2020060606&tab=PCTBIBLIO
China, the country that banned initial coin offerings and made it tough for Bitcoin to operate has been tossing around the idea to build its own digital currency, and U.S. fast-food giants Starbucks, McDonald’s and Subway are willing to help roll it out, the South China Morning Post reported today.
Last week we told you how Microsoft Technologies, Inc., had filed patent #060606 on a human implantable cryptocurrency system using body activity data, something amazingly similar to the Mark of the Beast sans the Beast. The dust on that story has barely had time to settle when today’s story hit our end times radar about how China is rolling out a new digital currency and will be using Starbucks, McDonald’s and Subway to test it. Seems to me it is just as much a test for the American companies to see how they like it as it will be for the Chinese Communist government.
. Christians in most of the Middle East, large swathes of Africa and increasingly in parts of Asia face a grim reality. In recent years, scores of Christians observing Easter and Christmas services have been killed by Islamist terrorists in churches in Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria and Sri Lanka. In countries where Christians are the minority, they face discrimination, hostility and sometimes deadly violence. (https://www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/rita-panahi/christianity-is-the-most-persecuted-religion-in-the-world/news-story/fccadd1f30733117c2d9dd338a27e7cc)