On the heels of problems the world is experiencing with the removal of millions of Christ's followers from the Earth (The Rapture) the world will have an extremely urgent need for stability and for all individuals to band together as one political, social, spiritual, and economical force. As early as 2008, we have been witness to open and public calls from world leaders for a global system to combat the world's economical problems. After the Rapture, the world's economies will crash if they haven't already. Mass chaos will rule in almost every aspect of life. This will be an unbelievable time of strife and fear that the world has never seen. The Antichrist, along with the False Prophet, will take control over the entire world and seem to have all the answers.
Speculation as to the identity of the Antichrist has been going on for a long time. People have mistakenly accused many individuals of being the Antichrist; such as Adolph Hitler, Nero, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, and Caesar just to name a few. While these people were certainly evil and are most likely now in Hell awaiting the Great White Throne Judgment, these tyrants were not the Antichrist that is spoken of in The Holy Bible. We know this for a certainty because of God's own words. We know that very shortly after the Rapture, the Antichrist will be unveiled. Not that he isn't somewhere on the scene right now but after the Rapture occurs, he will then assume his final role as world dictator and those who become believers after the Rapture and are biblically aware will be able to recognize him for who he is. Speculation as to his identity will only be speculation until then. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)
What we know about the Antichrist as a person
Even though the Bible does not tell us exactly who the Antichrist is, the Scriptures are very clear on what traits and characteristics he will possess, when he will come onto the world stage, and what he will do once he takes power.
He will be appealing, not repulsive. The Bible refers to the Antichrist as a blasphemous horn (Daniel 7:24-25), as lawless (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4), and a beast (Revelation 13:1-2) hardly an attractive list of descriptions, but we know that people will follow him (Revelation 13:3), so he will present himself as an alluring leader - at first. He will be super, not ordinary; everything about the Antichrist will be extraordinary. He will possess great eloquence, charm, wit, military genius, vision, and intelligence. He will be extremely influential, charismatic, a false champion of peace, and will possess strong leadership abilities. One could even say he's a rock star.
Daniel 8:23-24 tells us that the Antichrist is a king with fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences [which means He will be deeply involved with occult mysteries]. He will be filled with satanic power (and later become possessed by satan).
He will be a gentile, not a Jew. The Bible tells us that the Antichrist will arise out of “the sea” (Daniel 7:2-3, Revelation 13:1) indicating that he will arise out of the gentile nations, not Israel.
(Daniel 9:26) Daniel tells us that he will either rise out of the old Roman Empire or his lineage will be that from the area of the old Roman Empire. The “Prince that shall come” will come out of “The people” who “shall destroy the city”. Since it was Rome and its legions that destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70, it logically follows that the “prince that shall come” must come out of the Roman Empire and people.
The power and rise to power of the Antichrist
John tells us: “The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority” (Revelation 13:2). The dragon is satan, the real power behind the puppet-authority of the Antichrist. The Antichrist will have an amazing rise to power but he won't instantly take his position as the world dictator from out of nowhere. He will not be an ordinary man walking down the street one day and the next day dictator of the world; rather, he will grow into power like a horn growing out of the head of an animal (Daniel 7:7-8). He will take over the revived Roman Empire which, in its final form, will be a European lead confederation of nations. We see this taking shape right now with the European Union (EU). We also know that at some point after or at the midway point of Tribulation, the Antichrist will move the capital of this one world government from Europe to Jerusalem (Daniel 11:4).
John's vision of a great beast arising from the gentile nations (Revelation 13:1-4) mirrors Daniel's vision (Daniel 7:2-8). John saw seven heads, probably corresponding to the original ten leaders Daniel saw, including the three that had been "pulled out by the roots"(Daniel 7:8). The ten crowns represent governments and governmental authority (Revelation 13:1). The horn that arose from the midst of the ten and deposed three is a single individual - “he will speak out” (Daniel 7:25). He is named the Antichrist. By exalting himself, he will blaspheme God (2 Thessalonians 2:4). He will oppress God's people. He will attempt to change the moral and natural laws.
"His power will be mighty, but not by his own power,
And he will destroy to an extraordinary degree
And prosper and perform his will;
He will destroy mighty men and the holy people.
"And through his shrewdness
He will cause deceit to succeed by his influence;
And he will magnify himself in his heart,
And he will destroy many while they are at ease.
He will even oppose the Prince of princes,
But he will be broken without human agency.
When he takes his final place as world dictator after the Rapture, He will rule in the first three and a half years as a messiah type figure. After his assassination and satanic resurrection, he will then rule as a God (not that he will be, but that will be how he demands to be treated).
After the Antichrist takes the reins of power, the events of the last days will unfold and conclude with the return of Christ to set up His kingdom.
For more information on the one world government, please see our article about the one world government.
Seven year treaty with Israel
Daniel foretold that the leader of the revived Roman Empire (The Antichrist) will make a seven-year treaty [or covenant / agreement] with Israel (Daniel 9:24-27)
"So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.
"Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.
"And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate."
The Antichrist will draw up a 7 year treaty and Israel will enter into this covenant of death.
Once this treaty is signed, a very specific set of events will unfold over the next 7 years. The importance of the signing of this treaty cannot be understated. The treaty referred to in Daniel 9:27 marks the beginning of the 7 years of tribulation which will conclude with the return of Christ.
The abomination of desolation
In the middle of the seven-year Tribulation period, Jewish Temple worship including the daily sacrifice will be violently interrupted by the Antichrist. This is referred to in Scripture as the “abomination of desolation” (Matthew 24:15, Daniel 9:27). It refers to the Antichrist's breaking of the covenant with Israel by the defiling of the Holy Place in the Temple and putting an end to daily sacrifice at the temple. (Daniel 8:13, 9:17, 11:31)
Jesus confirmed Daniel's prediction that the Antichrist will defile the Third Temple during the last days by committing an act of supreme defiance against God. The Antichrist will spiritually defile the Holy of Holies with an unprecedented act of desecration that will express his satanic contempt for almighty God.
In Matthew 24:15-16, Jesus warns the Jews, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains.”
This event will mark the start of the last three and a half years of Tribulation. Known as the Great Tribulation
The assassination and resurrection of the Antichrist
The apostle John foretold that the Antichrist (the Beast) will be assassinated with a wound to the head or neck at the midpoint of the seven-year long Tribulation period. John's prophecy also reveals that satan will resurrect and indwell the assassinated Antichrist. During the first three and a half years of the tribulation period, the Antichrist will present himself to the world as a messiah figure; however, after this resurrection he will claim to be God.
The meaning of Revelation 13:3 has been debated for centuries. Some have said the fatal wound refers to the kingdom of the Antichrist, that he suffers a deadly political or military blow and survives. However the Greek phrase translated “as if it had been slain” is the same phrase used to describe the Lamb of God (Jesus), whose death was clearly real and resulted in a literal, bodily resurrection (Revelation 5:6). Therefore, because we can identify the beast as the Antichrist of the end times who is described in terms of his world empire, we should conclude the Revelation 13:3 points to his physical death and “miraculous” resurrection.
When the Antichrist enters the rebuilt Jewish temple in Jerusalem exactly three and one half years into the seven year treaty, he will stop the daily sacrifice and defile the temple after which he will be assassinated by a wound to the head and resurrected by satanic power. At that time, he will be indwelled by satan. The false prophet will declare the Antichrist to be God on earth. The Antichrist will demand that everyone worship him as God at which time the false prophet will institute the Mark of the Beast. (Revelation 13:3-14)
The False Prophet (the satanically empowered partner of the Antichrist) will then demand that everyone on earth worship the resurrected Antichrist as God. “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed” (Revelation 13:12). During this time, all of Satan's cruelty will be released on the Earth. He will call himself God and demand loyalty. To make matters worse, the Earth will experience God's wrath (Great Tribulation). Natural and supernatural disasters will wreak havoc the likes of which have never been seen before (Matthew 24:22). Disease along with death will be rampant and people will be starving.
The Mark and Image of the Beast
During the time of Great Tribulation, people will still need to buy and sell to earn a living for their families and themselves. The Antichrist and the false prophet will strike their most severe and horrific blow at the level of basic necessities. The Antichrist will demand that everyone worship him as God at which time the false prophet will institute the Mark of the Beast which will be a system associated with the number 666. Without it, you will not be able to work, buy, or sell. You will starve. If you do not take the mark of the beast you will be beheaded (Revelation 13:15, 20:4). Those who accept the mark will acknowledge their spiritual submission to the Antichrist and will be lost to Jesus forever.
Part of the deception perpetrated by the false prophet will be his power to give life to the “image of the beast” (Revelation 13:15). This abomination will be a satanic image or idol of the Antichrist that his partner, the False Prophet, will create during the second half of the seven-year-long tribulation period, the last 3 and one half years leading to Armageddon. The false prophet will demand that all people throughout the world worship the Antichrist and his image or be killed.
For a more detailed look at the mark of the beast and the image of the beast, please see out article on the False Prophet.
The world at war
Following the Antichrist's initial victory over three of the ten leaders of the revived Roman Empire (whether it be a military or political victory via assassination), the armies of the Antichrist will be concentrated initially in Europe and the Middle East. In the final three and one half years of Tribulation, with the world suffering under the brutal rule of the Antichrist, a series of wars will be unleashed. A number of nations will rebel against the tyranny of the Antichrist, and those nations will wage war against the Antichrist's armies. Many devastating battles will be fought leading up to Armageddon.
The king of the south (Egypt and her African allies) will attack the Antichrist's forces gathered in Israel. Then the king of the north (Russia) will join the battle by bringing its forces from the north in a lightning attack on the armies of the Antichrist (Don't confuse this with the war of Gog & Magog. That will have already happened and God himself destroys those forces.)
At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood. (Daniel 11:40)
However, the Antichrist will swiftly counterattack, annihilating the enemy armies from both the north and the south. The Antichrist will decisively win the first round of the war against the armies of the king of the north and south.
As one author writes:
Subjugated under the Antichrist authority, nations will grow dissatisfied and will rebel “at the end time” (Daniel 11:40). In a two-pronged attack, the kingdoms of the south and north will march against the Antichrist, who will pour over countries like a torrential flood to meet these armies in the “Beautiful Land” of Israel (Daniel 11:40-41)
Initially victorious, the Antichrist will pursue his enemies through Egypt, plundering the country's treasure, and then continue his pursuit into Libya and Ethiopia (Daniel 11:42-43). Reasserting his authority, he will set up his capital in Jerusalem—“The Beautiful Holy Mountain” (Daniel 11:45). Pressing his advantage in the south, the Antichrist will hear disturbing rumors of armies from the east (see related prophecies in Revelation 9:16-19, 16:12) and north amassing against him. The reign of this despot will certainly come to an ignominious end: “no one will help him” (Daniel 11:45, also Revelation 19:19-21)
The Antichrist will consolidate his armies in Israel, moving his headquarters to the Mount of Olives opposite Jerusalem (see Daniel 11:45), knowing that the final battle will be fought there. Daniel foretold, “He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand. He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape.” (Daniel 11: 41-42).
The nations of the eastern world (see the reference to the kings of the east in Revelation 16: 12-14) will unite in a desperate attempt to secure their political freedom by attacking the Antichrist's armies. (Revelation 9:15-16) Enormous armies of a size never seen before in human history will arise from several nations in Asia. These armies will march westward toward the Middle East, where they will engage in a cataclysmic struggle with the western armies of the Antichrist. An alliance between Japan, China, India, and developing nations of Asia could produce the armaments and manpower for such an unprecedented army from the East.
The prophet John wrote, "Then I saw three evil 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 spirits of demons performing miraculous 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.... Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon." (Revelation 16: 13-14, 16) These satanic spirits will call the “kings of the earth” to gather their massive armies to march toward Israel to engage in the final conflict of the age against the armies of the Antichrist.
The Antichrist will receive intelligence reports that an enormous army is mobilizing far to the east and north in Asia. “But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many. He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.” (Daniel 11:44-45) These reports will create a disturbance because the huge army of the kings of the east will contain two hundred million soldiers (see Daniel 11:40-44, Revelation 9:16)
The end is now near because this will be the start of the last battle of Tribulation. This battle is called Armageddon and will conclude with the return of Christ and the destruction of the Antichrist and False Prophet.
After this time, The Son of Man (Jesus) will come in battle array (Revelation 19:11-12), and the Antichrist will be “annihilated and destroyed forever” (Daniel 7:26). Christ, the “High One,” will then establish His millennial kingdom, ruling as Israel's King and sovereign of all dominions (Danial 7:25)
For more information on the battle of Armageddon, please see our article on Armageddon.
The Antichrist and the False Prophet will be judged by God
Daniel tells us “ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set…. I beheld even till the beast [the Antichrist] was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away; yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time." (7:10-12)
Some Bible commentators have suggested that Daniel's vision of judgment refers to the Great White Throne Judgment. However, the scripture evidence rules out this conclusion. (Revelation 20) confirms that the Great White Throne Judgment will involve the individual judgment of all unrepentant sinners and will occur in Heaven at the end of the thousand year Millennium Reign. In Daniel's prophecy, he mentions judgments that will be pronounced by God. These judgments are the judgments of the Gentile nations for their treatment of the Jewish people throughout history, as well as the tribulation period. Jesus foretold that this judgment will occur on earth following the battle of Armageddon and Christ's establishment of the kingdom of God on earth (Matthew 25:31-46).
The final judgment of the Antichrist and the False Prophet (which will occur after the battle of Armageddon) is to be the first ones to be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:11-21). Keep in mind, that satan and all those who have rejected Jesus throughout all time, will not enter the lake of fire until the Great White Thrown judgment which won't occur until after the Millennial Reign of Christ (1,000 years) ends (Revelation 20) which will then be followed by a new Heaven and new earth (Revelation 21).
Charles Swindoll: Daniel, Volume 2: God's Plan for the Future
Charles Swindoll: Revelation—Unveiling the End
Grant Jeffrey: Countdown To The Apocalypse
David Jeremiah: Turning Point
Ed Hindson: Is the Antichrist Alive and Well
Tim LaHaye: Revelation Unveiled; Are We Living in the End Times
Jerry Jenkins: Are We Living in the End Times