Victory in Grace Publications
New York City
The words prepared him for later. "Yes. I'm ready," he said to the white-shirted waiter. Ready now. His thirty-year obscure sojourn had ended. Soon he would look out upon the world and invite them to listen to the person who cared, the only human being in the universe who had the answers. They wanted to hear him. He imagined standing before them as they stared at their television sets in their living rooms around the world. Timed perfectly, flashing on prime time news, he would stand on the Temple Mount, poised, confident. Later they would film him at a local wedding, the bride and groom standing beneath the traditional cloth. It was the perfect kick-off. People would put away their sorrow for that time for they would want the bride and groom to be joyful. And so, during that happy, swirling occasion, his ministry would begin and the world would wonder and believe.
"The ones who would have hindered me have been taken away," he thought. He remembered wandering as a boy along the river bank near his home. He knew even then. He was called to something higher. A tiny rock had felt smooth in his hand. He had flung it across the water picturing himself as the stone skipping across the water to the applause of millions. It would be a miracle. He would impress them with his power. And he would do what others had done only he would do it better. He would feed the hungry around the world for a time, shelter the homeless, comfort the distressed with real deeds not useless platitudes for he would know how to assuage the strongest fears. He would bring hope to a world that had lost its hope. They would have to follow him. Especially now that they hurt. Thousands were going insane having lost spouses, children, babies, and lovers. The newscasters didn't know what to say; even those who wrote the headlines in newspapers around the world couldn't capture the horror.
He chuckled softly as he stood and walked toward the café door. He strolled down the street toward a high-rise. Some thought he came from Rome, others from Paris, still others from New York. He had lived in every city but now he was going to the home no one knew about. He touched the button on the elevator and stepped inside thinking about the power he craved. He was at the top of his own game, a self-made man. He thought about all those who had gone before. Martyrs to the cause. Jannes and Jambres. Herod. Elymas the Sorcerer. And of course, the ultimate, Judas, indwelled by the most high himself. He would outshine them all.
He tapped his pager signaling his arrival. Even as he looked out from the roof, he could tell the city was reeling from shock. It was the middle of the afternoon but most businesses were closed. Groups of people stood in the street weeping as they held onto each other. His face grew hard for the briefest second as he wondered why people missed the Christians at all. His own grandmother had been one. He was glad she was gone.
The helicopter was waiting. And so was someone else. A tall woman with her head bowed.
"I'm Olivia Andrews." She said, "I wonder if I could take a moment of your time."
Andrew's face was filled with suffering.
"Of course. What can I do for you?" His voice was carefully modulated. He had learned from the best how to make his voice ache with emotion and sound strong and powerful-almost within the same moment.
"My daughter. She was only 13."
His black-suited guard was waiting to swing open the helicopter door but he knew better than to rush the moment.
"Only 13." He echoed.
"She's gone. One of the missing. I don't know what to do. When I went to the police, they told me that they couldn't help because they were dealing with thousands of such cases." Her voice broke. "I know you to be a man who knows a lot of powerful people." He looked down and noticed her hand rested on a headline about him in the paper. Yes, his PR people were doing okay thanks to the millions of dollars he fed them.
She continued. "My uncle is the police force head. He told me that he had heard you were going to leave from here for Jerusalem. He thought maybe you could give me some hope."
He forced himself not to appear irritated. She couldn't know how crucial the timing was at this moment. Maybe he could use this conversation in the speech he was going to make later. It would give all the hurting people something to latch onto.
He took a slim card from his coat. "Here." He looked deep into her eyes. He knew his own power. She stared back at him and then he saw a hopeful glimmer appear. Good. She would help him in his cause. Tell her friends and family that he was the man for this hour.
"Use the number on this card at any pay phone to get an instant update on your daughter's status. I will put her case on prime alert. I know how important this is to you."
She gripped the card with both hands. "How can I ever thank you?" But he was already being whisked into the helicopter.
He sat staring at her upturned face as they took off. A strange power filled his limbs. His breath felt charged with excitement. Only a few more minutes and he would arrive at his Leer jet where he would be transported to Israel.
"The world weeps now but they will embrace me once they see all that I offer," he thought, "Your plans are going perfectly, Satan. I am but a tool in your hands."
His brilliance will astound the world but it will be his compassion that will steal their hearts. He will possess all the traits touted by the psychological community as the epitome of success, self-love, self-acceptance, and self-esteem, but no one will think he is prideful. He will appear in control of his own destiny, yet he will seem approachable. His honest demeanor will attract the hard-working element while his diabolical side will bring those tinged with evil. His godlike powers will bring the religious to their knees, and they will accept him wholeheartedly-calling on the world to do the same. He will talk favorably of religion, sharing his personal meditative rituals with every religious group. He will share traits of them all and will know to highlight those qualities without offending those who don't believe in God.
His warm laugh and sense of humor will have television and radio networks begging to interview him. His knowledge of global affairs will dumbfound the powerful, and his simple kindness to world leaders will bring about astounding reconciliation. Countries whose rivalries with other ethnic groups go back for centuries will say, "This man's love is bringing us together." Each nation will love him, for he will be a man of them all, yet the Bible tells us that Israel will feel a special kinship. A kinship so close that they will look at one another and say, "Rejoice, our Messiah has come." They will sacrifice once again in the ancient way; and as they do so, thanks to his uniting powers even the Moslems, Hindu's, and Catholics will look on these actions benevolently. He will have flattered them all, promising that he is for them too.
His plan of allegiance will seem like the height of concern. "Take my special mark," he will say. "You will finally be safe. You will be able to track your loved ones, so they will never be lost like that crazy right-wing fringe was only a few years ago." He will explain that the mark will cut crime rates to almost nothing, because there will be no need for cash. He will explain that men and women's power will be in their hands or foreheads. It will all be so easy. Go to the grocery store without your purse. Attend that favorite sporting event without your wallet. You won't have to worry about someone stealing your money anymore or someone assuming your identity with a stolen credit card. Humankind will finally have the utopian godless society longed for since the fall.
People will take the mark even as they begin to see that not everything this man does is peaceful. As he assures them that no one needs to fear, nations fight like never before. He wins the kingdom by peace, but he sustains it by war.
He is the Son of Satan. The embodiment of Satan's plan that began the moment he fell from Heaven. This is the Antichrist. Not just "against" Christ, he is the ultimate humanistic christ, the kind of man people have always wanted. He will be the bionic man, the six-million dollar man, and the best clones from the best people who have ever lived, all wrapped up in one smooth, svelte package.
His imitation of Christ's earthly pilgrimage will be peerless, adding further clout to his profile. He will claim a virgin birth, have his own three-and-a-half-year ministry, perform signs and wonders, have his own unholy trinity, and his own death and resurrection. This imitation will fool both the religious and nonreligious, for mankind is looking for such a man-one who will bring all the divisions and strife together in one big, happy whole.
Nearing the Precipice
Watch out for this man! He could be alive today, though he won't reveal himself until after the Rapture of the Church. Will people know this man is the Antichrist, the Son of Satan? This is the chilling truth. The world won't know, at least at first. The Bible says that if it were possible the very elect, or the church itself, would be deceived by the Son of Satan. People won't look at him and shout, "That man is evil! Don't go near him! Don't do what he says! Don't listen to him!" Instead, the world will applaud him, admire him, and adore him. I venture to say that if you came face to face with the Antichrist today, you would love him immediately. You probably would think, "That is the nicest man I have every met." For unlike other evil men who hide, this man will be so good at evil that he will look perfectly good. He will stand on the busiest street corners in the world shaking hands and winning hearts. He will be an Angel of Light in whom no one detects a shadow, at least for a while. For a short time this man will be to the world what Christ is to believers. A savior. A deliverer. A mighty prince. A wonderful counselor.
For all his apparent kindness, in his heart, he is a deceiver, just as his father the Devil is a fraud. One day, the hammer will fall and human kind will know the horrifying truth. They will have been led as sheep to the slaughter when he deceives them into taking his mark. Now that same mark, far from promising security and ease, dooms them to death and destruction.
He Hasn't Come Yet, So Why Should I Worry?
There are those who say that since the world has waited for these events for over 2,000 years, why should anyone worry about it ever happening? If you look at many churches today, there is apathy toward coming prophetic events. Many denominations even teach that the Rapture won't occur. Some groups teach that if we all work together to reform the world, when it reaches a certain point Christ will come back to rule and reign.
Dr. M.R. De Haan, the founder of Radio Bible Class, came from this background. After a few years, he began to study the Bible and learned about the imminent return of Christ. This doctrine changed his outlook. He spent many years preaching on the subject and writing books about prophesy. He never quite believed that he would leave the world by the undertaker. He often said that if he did die, he hoped to be buried near someone who held theological views differing with his concerning the imminent, pretribulation rapture. "Then I can say as we are caught up to be with the Lord, 'I told you so!' he would quip with his half smile. Then, "But I probably wouldn't really do that, for God says we'll all be changed in the twinkling of an eye."
De Haan's former beliefs aren't unusual today even among some Bible believing and teaching churches. Many people don't understand that the false teachings concerning the end times that abound today are only further proof that the Bible is accurate. Scripture teaches that in the last days there would be indifference toward the Rapture. Far from keeping this event from happening, these false teachers are right in line with what the Bible predicts. Not only is it exciting that the Rapture will occur at any moment (possibly before you finish this sentence), but it is more exciting to understand that God predicted the current indifference. Matthew 24:37-39 explains the climate before the Rapture, "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came and took them all away, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." It says people will be eating, drinking, marrying. In other words, just as people turned off Noah's warnings about the upcoming flood and instead chose to eat, drink, and marry as if nothing were going to happen, so people will be in the coming generation before the next great event on the prophetic timetable.
Proving the Word, Especially Now
Sarin Ahmad, a 20-year-old computer student was ready to execute a deadly plan. She was to become a martyr while blowing other people to pieces in Israeli streets. Her terrorist handlers told her to "be brave" and "to pray" while they showed her the 22-lb. bomb she was supposed to strap to herself. After she and a 16-year-old boy were delivered to the site, both had second thoughts. Ahmad shared with La Stampa, an Italian newspaper that she suddenly thought of her intended victims as humans too. The two potential bombers phoned their contact in the terrorist group and said they didn't want to go through with the plan. The contact rejected their decision. Ahmad said, "They said we must die." The 16-year-old tragically carried out the orders. He and three others were killed. Ahmad dropped the bomb in an abandoned car and fled.
While it is refreshing and unusual to hear that Ahmad chose not to use that bomb, the fact that Israel daily experiences suicide attacks and other atrocities, is proof of how true the Word of God is. Daily, world news centers on Israel. We are seeing more and more people turning against this tiny nation. Saddam Hussein said just before the war in Iraq, "I proudly and respectfully salute the heroes of martyrdom operations (suicide bombings) who give their lives for Palestine and the Arab nation." He also paid tribute to the "Palestinian women who joyfully bid their children farewell" before staging suicide attacks."
The fact that Israelis have gathered once again in their land is one of the biggest miracles of our time. There were books written prior to 1947 that stated in effect, "There is no way there will be a return of Israel to her land." And yet, we know much to the world's amazement that in 1948, the Jewish nation was established. One author says, "Nearly 1900 years after the last destruction of the nation of Israel and the scattering of her people all over the earth, the nation of Israel is in place once again in the land that God gave to her nearly 4000 years ago. It is a restoration unique in human history, in fulfillment of numerous and specific prophecies, and it bear the unmistakable imprint of the hand of God."
Zechariah 12:2-3 predicts what is happening today, "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it."
Jeremiah 30:10-11 states, "Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the Lord; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid. For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished."
Jeremiah 31:35-36 explains that only if the sun and the moon cease, will God forget Israel. "Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever."
Not long ago, The European Executive Union published a survey of its attitudes of Iraq and world peace. They found that 59 percent saw Israel as a threat, putting it above Iran, North Korea, and the United States. The poll also found that 68 percent of EU citizens believed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was not justified.
Do you see how Jerusalem is a "burdensome stone" to the world today? When the majority of the European Union nations see Israel as a threat greater than Iran or North Korea, you know the end is near.
We should study prophecy because it comprises so much Scripture. Look at the following statistics:
"Approximately one-fourth of the Bible was prophetic when it was written.
"Of the 333 prophecies concerning Christ, only 109 were fulfilled at His first Coming, leaving 224 yet to be
fulfilled at His Second Coming.
"There are a total of 1,527 Old Testament passages referring to the Second Coming.
"In the New Testament, 330 verses refer directly to the Second Coming of Christ.
"The Lord Himself refers to His return 21 times in Scripture.
These facts alone tell us how vital a through study of prophecy is to the believer.
The Man of Sin
In this book you will learn about the Son of Satan. You will see Satan's plot since the beginning of time to sabotage God's plans. And you will start to put the pieces of the puzzle together, understanding that the Man of Sin is the epitome of everything Satan wants in a man. You will learn more about his political genius, his commercial master plan, his evil designs for Israel, his death and resurrection, and his final ruin and destruction.
But you don't have to be caught up in that ruinous scene. You can disengage yourself from it by being sure you will be with Christ before the Son of Satan begins his grizzly reign.
Who would ever dream of amputating his own leg? Nobody-unless that person had lost his mind or was faced with the grim choice of losing either his leg or his life. That was Bill Jeracki's terrible predicament, according to The Denver Post, when he was out fishing alone in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. He was trapped when a boulder fell on his leg, and he was unable to free himself. Knowing that as night came on he might die of exposure, Bill did what he knew he had to do. Relying on his skill as an assistant to a doctor at a Denver hospital, he took a nylon rope out of his tackle box, tied it tightly above his knee, and cut off his leg with his knife. He then dragged himself to his car and drove ten miles to the nearest town. He not only survived the trauma, but with an artificial limb he is out fishing again.
What a decision-your leg or your life! But what if the stakes were even higher? What if you had to choose between trying to do good deeds to go to Heaven and accepting salvation? The choice might seem obvious, but many people are depending on good works or their religion to get to Heaven instead of relying on the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. God sacrificed His only Son to pay the price for our sins. Choosing to believe in the shed blood of Christ will guarantee that you will be taken up to Heaven before the Great Tribulation or when you die, you will go to Heaven. Won't you decide right now to trust Christ as your Savior? His death, burial, and resurrection paid the price for your sins. He is begging you to trust Him. Why don't you take a moment and do that right now? Then you can warn others of this great imposter, the Son of Satan, ready to be revealed.