Facing Antichrist and His Henchmen

Written by Paul J Bucknell on November, 10, 2023

Facing Antichrist and His Henchmen, Part 5

Prepare to face the Antichrist and his army in a world filled with increased deception and persecution during the end times.

Part 1 Antichrist and the Bible 

Part 2 The Signs of Antichrist

Part 3 Antichrist Revealed in Revelation 13

Part 4 The Timing of Antichrist’s Appearing (2 Thessalonians 2)

Part 5 Facing Antichrist and His Henchmen

Although there were many antichrists in John’s day, the Scriptures point us to the Antichrist in “the end time” (Dan 12:9; 2 Thes 2:2-4). He is associated with insidious plotting, world deception, deception, world leadership, persecution, control over mankind, financial manipulation, and significant harm to mankind. Some believe Christians will be taken up in a rapture before the worst comes and spared the beast’s wrath. They will not need to face this nasty world leader—if they are right. Despite our various eschatological views, the Scriptures repeatedly warn God’s people to stay faithful and alert during the Antichrist’s oppression and massacre of those unwilling to worship the beast. 

“It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him” (Rev 13:7).

This article addresses the mindset necessary and the spiritual focus needed to stay firm in faith to gain the final reward. Any good defense requires devoted faith and careful identification of our enemy and his tactics.

I will first share how (1) Antichrist will probably use Artificial intelligence (AI), which suddenly appeared in early 2023 (for most of us), and then provide a biblical mindset to help us (2) stand firm when we face the worst.

(1) Antichrist and AI

I recently spoke with a deacon and mentioned how easily the church can put its trust in Artificial Intelligence (AI). He dismissed this problem, saying, “Oh, it won’t be a problem for us,” thinking how biblically-solid his church is. I countered, not on whether or not the church is strong, but on the underlying dangers. A strong, unseen worldwide influence steers God’s people away from God, driving them deeper into the evil one’s grasp. The waywardness of God’s people is illustrated everywhere in the Old Testament. 

I pulled out my iPhone and asked the deacon, “How reliant are we on these smartphones?" I explained that we use it for virtually everything—communication, controlling heat, banking, reserving, security, signing, etc. He couldn’t disagree with me. We are unaware of just how dependent we are on our smartphones. People everywhere continually feel for their phones and panic if misplaced or lost.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly important and influential. It has the potential to provide unimaginable conveniences and make our lives easier, but it can also bring negative consequences. For example, my grammar program now uses AI, saving me one to two hours daily while providing better quality. AI’s impact could be much greater than we realize, and it may replace many workers in various fields, particularly in white-collar occupations such as doctors. This means that our reliance on AI will only continue to grow.

The idea of merging a massive computer with ‘The Beast’ is not new. I recall that in the early 70s, someone suggested that a great computer in the Netherlands, called 666, would be Antichrist’s means of regulating finances. No one disputes this possibility today.

From a spiritual perspective, relying too much on AI technology can significantly erode Christians’ trust in God, making it easier for them to be deceived in the last days. Dependence on AI allows providers to manipulate and pressure those who rely on it. Artificial intelligence might play a crucial role in the Antichrist’s deceptive plan.

The Likely Takeover

We must not underestimate Satan’s darkly-spun web. Consider how fast open AI and ChatGP2 went to “closed AI” in ChatGP3. No longer can the public scrutinize its language learning models. AI will give Antichrist, likely a powerful human leader, immeasurable powers over those under his influence.

Once we are comfortable with AI’s ability, we become dependent on it, making it virtually impossible to give up using it. This dependency will escalate through the upcoming global economic bankruptcy and use of digital currencies. (The EU digital wallet is now being rolled out as I write this.) If we rely on its ability to buy and produce food, we must eat what it prepares instead of farmers. Or when one large governing body uses AI to monitor people’s income and expenses, they can regulate people’s accounts, and like China, attach penalties for undesirable social behavior. “He who controls the purse strings, rules the world” or directs people’s actions. This establishes the framework for Revelation’s remarkable mark of the beast prophecy, complete with the ability to control buying and selling.

16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name” (Rev 13:16-17).

This mark links individuals to the beast (i.e., the Antichrist), giving him great oversight of their financial transactions and bringing economic manipulation. People will put up with new morals and laws because they need money and food to live. Even now, groups are experimenting with transitioning from an e-wallet to a mark (i.e., chip) on the body. Once the Antichrist gains his position of authority, he can use these extra powers through AI.

Don’t get such markings, and prepare to trust the Lord like never before.

Mankind in the cybernetic age

(2) Standing Firm in our Faith

The resilience of God’s people rests not in themselves but in the Lord. “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thes 3:3).

Highly decorated military generals, ultra-rich CEOs, oligarchs, and government officials will attempt to persuade and compel God’s people to side with them. Those in control will compel the masses to follow their directives because they have power over their savings, banking, property, health services, and life. Remember, however, the Antichrist seeks to gain your worship—your hearts and souls. They seek to etch the enigmatic 666 mark on people’s bodies so that people will seal their alliance with the dark forces siding against God. [Never get that mark, no matter its form!]

The Book of Revelation teaches us that more than convenience is at stake. We will lose if we attempt to protect our finances, possessions, or businesses through small compromises. There is a dark, devilish plot seeking our worship—nothing less. This is the reason we need to stand with Jesus Christ unabashedly. Jesus will come again, but the timing is His. We will be His faithful soldiers. This understanding of Satan’s plan helps protect us from taking the easy road of stepping into full-fledged compromise. We must resist the devil and all service to him.

“They worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” (Rev 13:4).

The Spirit of God will mightily use God’s Word, the fiery two-edged sword, to strengthen our souls and provide for us (Heb 4:12). Without faith, we will fail. We have not the wherewithal to lift this sword to fight, but with faith, the Lord enables His truth to strengthen His people against their most pernicious foes.

In Ephesians 6:10, Paul states, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” Our strength in Christ is sufficient to ward off the attacks from the evil one. The attacks will come in many ways, but our response is one: “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen” (2 Tim 4:18). 

Paul is not saying that he or others will necessarily be spared martyrdom. I must elaborate on my argument because pre-trib rapture teachings have ill-prepared many. Jesus rather prepares us, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Mat 10:28). Our hope goes beyond this present life to the bodily resurrection and eternal life.

Since God has appointed some to martyrdom, it makes sense that deliverance would occur through how they give up their earthly lives. We see this poignantly declared in Daniel by the three thrown into the flames.

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Dan 3:17-18).

“For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” (2 Tim 1:12).

Opposition and Persecution

Though not all will suffer martyrdom, it’s common to suffer attack. Paul challenges Timothy and all, “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2 Tim 2:3).

Persecution is not new; outbreaks against God’s people have happened throughout the ages; they are evident in the New Testament, like in 1 Thessalonians 1 or the Book of Hebrews. 

32 But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, 33 partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. (Heb 10:32-33)

Persecution against God’s people continues in many places like Ethiopia, India, Myanmar, and China. These outbursts, like pins on a worldwide GPS map, hint at how the devil seeks to dominate and persecute those opposing him (Rev 12:17). 

We are not deluded in thinking that preserving our earthly lives a few years longer is valuable, especially when smelling the devil’s sulfurous breath.

At first, the evil one will give the Antichrist rule over what seems a conglomeration of nations: “having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems” (Rev 13:1). Some suggest this is what comes from the old Roman empire, the European Union while others a joint federation of the world’s ten regions. The first model keeps Israel as the focal point, but the later can work if Israel becomes the world’s capital.

The Antichrist is not the believer’s only enemy but a formidable one, bringing much-increased persecution. The Book of Revelation presents the Antichrist as a front for the devil; an incarnation of sorts to receive worship (Rev 13:4).

Be Strong

If our Lord selects us to live during that evil age, we must learn to resist evil and be strong. Jesus teaches us in the Lord’s prayer to say, “deliver us from evil” (Mat 6:13). “Evil” is better translated “evil one.” God will extraordinarily strengthen His people for the end times. There will be tremendous pressure against the Lord’s people, but it will be brief—“a short time.”

“For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time” (Revelation 12:12).

Antichrist vaunts himself with his self-deceit while quickly extinguishing the lives of others. His soul feasts on shed blood, considering it like extinguishing candles, each representing the image of God.

We all must prepare to live as His faithful servants, even to death, if God allows. Jesus boldly says, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul” (Mat 10:28; Luke 12:4). Our lives consist of more than our failing bodies.

Though Antichrist’s powers are greatly constrained, Satan deludes himself by thinking he can and will conquer all, thus deserving all worship. As God’s people, we refuse to worship him. This makes us directly opposed to his purposes. In contrast to God’s glory, Satan has done nothing good and has already been judged. The beast does his best to diminish the testimony of God’s people because he can’t tolerate hearing them praise their Creator and Redeemer. Satan uses fear, primarily stemming from war, financial loss, and today’s hyped climate warnings, to control the masses. Though Revelation speaks clearly of how the evil one kills off many people, God’s people will continue to stand as His witnesses.

Understanding Martyrs for the Lord

Some misunderstand God’s allowance for martyrs, seeing it as a failure or oversight on God’s part. What a shame! The martyrs fulfill an important part of God’s plan, affirming our belonging to Jesus, who gave up His life for us. They get to stand victorious against the enemy. Their victorious faith ushers them through death’s gate into God’s brilliant presence: “And there was given to each of them a white robe” (Rev 6:11).

We need to stand firm to retain our reward. “Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward” (Heb 10:25). The coming delusion will seem far too powerful for us, but the Lord remains present and ably equips His people so that none fall to the Beast’s wicked schemes. 

John relates how God’s people will not wonder as the world. “And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast” (Rev 17:8). That wondering leads to adoration and worship; it’s all part of the delusion. Only those whose names are written in the Book of Life will be protected from this evil scheming. The Lord is entirely in charge, giving the beast only “one hour” for his deadly work (Rev 17:12). 

The Lord amply and vividly prepares His people, readers of His Word, for this time by describing the Antichrist’s villainous character, plan, and brief time. Why else does the Lord display the multitude of martyrs faithfully praising God? The Lord proudly calls them overcomers (Rev 3:12), a word that reminds us of Jesus’ pursuit of His Father’s will when enduring the cross. Jesus now rules as the living Lord and the King of all Kings; His kingdom stands (Rev 1:5-6)!

We cannot face such a ferocious archenemy as Antichrist on our own. We don’t overcome through our own devices but lean on the miraculous ways the Lord delivers us and all His people. The Word of God gives insights into the devil’s scheme, so we need not fear or wonder. Never will there be a time when so many bodies rot, but the Lord reminds us how He, the Good Shepherd, guides His people with His staff, leading them into green pastures to be with Him forever (Psalm 23:1).

In the days of the False Ruler, he, with others, will seize control of a great portion of the world, doing things in direct opposition to God’s Word and design. We have seen this immoral movement grow in our times, preparing for this evil one’s coming. In the last decades, secular evolution, injustice, murder, bribes, pseudo-science, and sexual perversions have become commonplace. 

Instead of preserving life, Satan inspires death. Instead of rewarding good, he favors wickedness and deception. Education and knowledge will increasingly be divorced from fact and freedom, replaced with manipulation and foolishness. The Great Harlot will ride her beast through every town, visiting each person on their screens, swallowing up the naive, those living for their passions and desires. Already, people use AI as a pleasing sex partner and will expand further by combining the experience with drugs.

Those who love their lives and the world will perish, but those who devotedly serve the true King will be with Him forever. The Lord’s good promises will timely appear at every temptation, providing an escape (1 Cor 10:13).

Possible Tactics

The evil one will pose theological questions to those so inclined, displaying himself as wiser and more caring than God Himself, similar to how the Sadducees and Pharisees sought to rebuke Jesus. Most of the questions will be simple repeats from of old with which he has haunted the saints of old. 

  • Where is your God? 
  • Why does God pretend to be good if He allows such evil? 
  • Why do you trust in a God who has vacated His premises? 
  • Why do you believe in a God who does not exist?

Like Pilgrim in Pilgrim’s Progress, the faithful follower of Christ will also discover a golden key in his pocket, promises from the Word of God. They will chase those devilish doubts and lies away like a shining light scattering the darkness.

We never face Christ’s enemies alone. In Christ, the Lord is our Protector. God, without fail, upholds those who lean upon His Word. Those who abide in Christ will discover the glory of God’s rich and living Word. The promises of eternal life comfort them with sweet meditations on the coming heavens and earth. “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13). Reminders of Judgment Day cause no trepidation for the saints as the Lord Jesus has suffered for them (Isaiah 53:6-8) and represents them (1 John 2:1-2), timely bringing His just and thorough judgment upon the wicked (2 Pet 3:10). 

As the darkness proceeds to snuff each flame of light and engulf every living thing, reaching to claim every last soul, the Lord will secure His faithful ones to Himself. No matter how dark. The last vestige of green and goodness might even disappear, but our good Lord will make His goodness known to His people in a timely manner. 

So how do we live in such days?

The Lord calls us to love those who hate and mistreat us, even when dullness of mind spreads and wickedness increases. Be practical; don’t get caught off guard. Keep loving those around you in word and deed, especially one’s enemies. When they insult, respond politely. When they take what you have earned to protect your family, do not begrudge them. We have a greater eternal kingdom. Perfect love requires us to seek God, not our devices. We wait for God’s miraculous intervention. If they attempt to kill, keep your eyes on the Lord. Take every opportunity to love and share the Gospel, hoping God will save them. 

Now is the age of mercy and grace, so we deliberately join God’s redemptive purposes. These oppressive times become unique opportunities to manifest God’s grace to the world. We ought to make the most of each one. (Col 4:5-6). At the appointed time, God will judge the wicked. Let Him take His timely vengeance; He is the Judge. This understanding enables us to forgive our enemies and continue to display His love with the hope God’s love will touch them. 

Here are powerful commands to keep us focused on kind acts even during confusing times.

- Love Your Neighbor

“… ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:31)

Jesus' command to love others call us to rise above our self-interest and persist in kind and gracious treatment, even when undeserved. By loving others, we extend God’s love.

- Bless those who persecute

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse” (Rom 12:14).

While it goes contrary to our instincts, God’s pointed commandment to love and bless our enemies remains a clear directive when hurt, abused, tried, or being killed. By blessing, we refuse to join the crimes of the dark side and choose to shine God’s light.

- Live in Hope

“But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:20-21).

Our choice of love helps us jump out of the vicious hate cycle, choosing instead to be kind to other. Our hope in God flashes sparks of confidence in God’s ability to touch and save the heart of our oppressor, even in the darkest moments.

- Never Take Your Own Revenge

“Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).

The absolute prohibition to take our personal revenge releases us from stepping into the arena of judgment, thus freeing us to unreservedly focus on kind merciful acts to those who mistreat our loved ones and us. God will judge upon Christ’s return.

- Look Beyond Evil

The hidden command here is to struggle.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12)

Our struggle is not against the people we see. There are higher devilish powers at work that manifest themselves through individuals. This is more obvious with demon-possessed people, but it’s true for all—“for our struggle.…” At some point, the age of great deception will capture the minds and hearts of the many. This thought reminds us what it would be like without God’s intervening grace, and so, awakens a great sense of mercy towards those being deceived and controlled, hoping and praying that God might somehow have mercy on them too.

Hope for a New Body

“Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” (1 Cor 15:51-52).

The Apostle Paul, in numerous places, reminds us of the promise of a new body—“we will all be changed.” Only the Lord can make such a promise. He who formed our first body raises our new bodies, again completing our soul and body (1 Cor 15:52). The promise of a new body brings vibrant hope to His people. Our souls will carry on, not in this barren, cursed world, but in the new world, filled with God’s rich promises. Faith steps aside when sight comes into view.

Many have hurt their bodies with immoralities and abuse, before coming to know the Lord. The curse of a sin-ridden body has saddened others as they grow older. Still, others have faced deliberate harm due to their faith. The threat of death dwindles in light of God’s hope of a resurrected body. Any pain or suffering will become like trophies for the future, reminding us of God’s glorious preparation and promises when there will be no tears, pain, or suffering. 

- Hope for A Future Reward

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Our labors will go ahead of us, never overlooked by the Lord. He intends to reward His faithful servants wonderfully. No situation is too minuscule or unseen to escape the Judge’s keen eye. Even as He tracks all kinds of evil, He equally remembers the good deeds that His people have done in this age. God would not be the all-powerful and just God if He would allow the slightest, most obscure act of kindness to go unrewarded by His people suffering such cold, scolding, pain, and rejection. Each drop of goodness poured out can feed a thousand souls hope and life. 

The apostle correctly says, “always abounding,” hinting that we must await His timing. He tells us to abound because opportunities for God’s work of love are never limited; our opportunities abound. Our efforts become the “work of the Lord.” He claims our very own words and labors as His own. Lastly, Paul exhorts us with the knowledge that God will always and amply reward us for the complex tasks He asks of us. Nothing will be in vain. What we lose here will become a means of receiving much more later. What must die here, like a seed, will bear much more fruit in the days ahead.

Refine, Refine Refine

A final purification, like the final preparations of a bride before presenting herself to her bridegroom, refines and purifies our souls.

“And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt” (Dan 12:1-2).

“He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time. Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand” (Dan 12:9-10).

Long ago, the Lord promised Daniel that after his time, a great refining would come when the evil one is released (Rev 20:3). One of God’s purposes for releasing the enemy is to purify His people. Did the Lord not allow the enemy to tread upon Job and Jesus? Did not God further display His majestic mercy and grace during those times? 

The more the difficulty, the more the grace. If we only have one life, let our lives display the glory of Christ rather than reflect the muddied waters of the world. We want the best for our family and our lives. That is a natural and right desire, but we live not in a natural world but a supernatural one, where the powers of darkness prowl around, biding their time, as God promised, until they are released in full scale. 

May our lives face this refining time with a fresh zeal of devotion. We may be chosen for the last age for “Many will be purged, purified and refined.”

If the testing reaches the world’s edges and the subtle deception is so strong, where does our help come from? Although we have pointed out certain truths, we must reckon that only God’s interceding grace enables God’s people to stand firm.

“And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel” (Rev 7:4).

Though speaking of the Israelites saved in the later days, this promise remains that God knows those who are His and will not let the evil one overcome His own. “And I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28-29).


The coming of the Antichrist signals the final age, along with extremely difficult times, even for believers. God’s prophets and apostles warn us so we can trust Him through the difficult times. Part of our preparation comes from these warnings while others call us to endure.  Still, others speak of the sure judgment and retribution of the wicked, but the greatest is the bright hope.

“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1 Cor 16:13).

“I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me round about” (Psalm 3:6).

“Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah” (Psalm 62:8).

Discussion Questions on Facing Antichrist

  1. List any fears you have connected to the final times.
  2. How might the Antichrist use AI (artificial intelligence) to secure greater control over people?
  3. Why does the Lord give us so many verses on the Antichrist (first beast) and Satan’s allowed involvement in the world?
  4. Does God sometimes allow suffering? How might the Accuser try to confuse us about God’s supreme purposes?
  5. Would you get the mark that allows you to buy and sell things? Explain.
  6. What do verses like Ephesians 6:10 and 1 Corinthians 16:13 teach us about our faith?
  7. Why is it so crucial to refrain from taking revenge? What does this allow us to do that others so desperately need?
  8. We can’t face Satan or the Antichrist on our own. So, what Bible verses help us to persist in our faith?
  9. Why are verses like Luke 12:4 important when facing threats against our lives?
  10. Explain why God allows the martyrdom of His beloved saints.
  11. Memorize four Bible verses that will help you stand firm.


Other Resources by Paul Bucknell on the Antichrist

Part 1 Antichrist and the Bible : Antichrist in the Bible: What does the Bible say about the Antichrist?

Part 2 The Signs of Antichrist: The Signs of Antichrist: Is Antichrist Coming Soon?

Part 3 Antichrist Revealed in Revelation 13: Know seven facts about Antichrist from Revelation 13 before he appears!

Part 4 The Timing of Antichrist’s Appearing (2 Thessalonians 2): An Introduction to the Timing of Antichrist

Part 5 Facing Antichrist and His Henchmen: Prepare yourself to face the Antichrist and his army in a world filled with increased deception and persecution during the end times.


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