Written by Paul J. Bucknell on May, 15, 2021
The Signs of Antichrist: Is Antichrist Coming Soon?
Behind the Scenes
Before a battle or event occurs, major planners expend tremendous amounts of energy, time, and money to prepare. The bigger the event, the more activity goes on behind the scenes.
We saw a massive set of plans, including the fulfillment of hundreds of prophecies foretelling Christ’s birth, go into operation when Jesus entered the world in Bethlehem at His first coming. We review many of them at Christmastime. Many other prophecies similarly foretell Jesus’ second coming.
Satan, too, appears to be making his last preparations before sending Antichrist to take over the earth. Our purpose here is to explore what those signs might be so that God’s people are not caught unaware.
In our biblical study of the term and figure of Antichrist, we noted that Paul related two signs: the apostasy and the coming of Antichrist (i.e., the lawless one), pointing to Christ’s return. “For it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction” (2 Thes 2:3-4).
Satan has been planning this world takeover for millenniums now. He has cunningly formulated his plans and will, at the right moment, put them into play. Now unfolding before our eyes, certain signs hint that the enactment of Antichrist’s plan is imminent.
As they come into play, we should anticipate “the man of lawlessness is revealed.” Until now, he is hidden.
In our biblical study, John mentioned many antichrists had already revealed themselves; others would be coming. He also asserted the early church belief, which is in harmony with Paul’s statements, that an Antichrist is coming, “just as you heard that antichrist is coming” (1 John 2:18).
What will these preparations look like? This can get confusing because John and others stated that many antichrists had already entered the scene. The antichrists and their policies are reflective of Antichrist and would share similar characteristics like false teaching and immorality. However, the signs of Antichrist will differ due to a worldwide upscaling of these falsities and its comprehensive evil force (Rev 20:3).
Four Key Signs Signaling Antichrist’s Preparation
These four following observations suggest that the Antichrist will soon launch his operations on earth. Though I mention Antichrist as preparing things, we need to remember that Satan uses him as a puppet (Rev 13:4).
When will this occur? What will be the key happenings at this time? It’s intriguing that, whether secular or religious, all around the world, increasing numbers, including some elitists, boldly announce a new era, called the Great Reset. Time will tell whether this new era becomes Satan’s launchpad or that it’s a distraction from the actual plan. Let’s sketch out various things in today’s news and see what it might foretell.
Danger #1: Not Meeting Together
This is the first occurrence that I know of when governments have forced the closing down and hindering church meetings, other than through outright persecution. The government played the Good Shepherd/Benevolent Doctor role by “protecting” society and preserving the general welfare of the people by prohibiting churches from meeting. Many hope they are transitioning out of this phase, but it has admittedly brought a devastating impact to the church.
Last year’s digital church experience might seem innocent enough. Still, the church’s definition makes us think otherwise. Whether in Hebrew (Old Testament) or the Greek (New Testament), the term “church” means to gather together, to assemble. Though the church is known for its many analogies portraying its nature—bride, kingdom, vine, etc., it’s essentially composed of His people coming from different places to assemble in the Lord’s presence.
This is the reason, however seemingly benign, that prohibiting God’s people from assembling together is a serious matter—an attack from Satan. Please don’t misunderstand my meaning. I appreciate the church endeavoring to meet online. I, too, have taken advantage of this timely new tech ability to Zoom and follow live feeds on Youtube or Facebook. But might this technology undermine the importance of meeting together?
- Why has the Lord, from the beginning, prized the gathering together of His children?
- Do online worship services satisfy the Lord? What are we missing when we do not meet together?
- Does it matter that God’s people have not observed Holy Communion for a year?
Technology for online services is not an option for millions of Christians. Many cannot afford or have the means to record and distribute their worship services. For over a year, as I write, many churches have not met, Christian believers have been isolated, and many churches have not served Holy Communion. I fear the fervor of God’s people is waning in light of ongoing fears.
Paul speaks about an apostasy preceding the revelation of Antichrist (2 Thes 2:3-4). Could this apostasy now be simmering in the background without us being aware of it ?
It’s still too premature to analyze the resulting weaknesses stemming from church closures. It’s hard to obtain the facts. So I state my observations from afar, concerned that God’s people are not obeying the truth and noting the possible ramifications of this practice.
I recognize some churches have remained open for part of the time, but many members still dare not attend—even with masking, vaccines, and social distancing. A definite lethargic spirit has affected some, now not eager to return to worship God together.
The lack of fellowship
To take this analysis one step further, let’s ask if attending church with social distancing and masks interferes with fellowship?
Does koinonia fellowship happen when God’s people can’t even see one another’s full face, let alone offer a fellowship hug and kiss (1 Thes 5:26)? Can we observe the tears of another brother or sister faraway on Zoom? After more than a year, due to social distancing, I shook hands with only 2-3 brothers. (I, too, find myself reluctant to initiate handshakes.) I typically shake hands with 10 people on a Sunday. By judging my Sunday handshakes for the past year, I downgraded the quality of my fellowship from 520 times to 2-3.
The void of Christian ministry
Further signs of the church’s disintegration worldwide can be seen in how she has been greatly inhibited from carrying out her major evangelism, discipleship, prayer, and mission programs. I canceled my international training programs; quarantine hassles made everything prohibitory costly and time-consuming. I am glad some brethren have found some roads to ministry through websites, but they are few. However, we should not let a few glowing statements blind us to the spiritual crippling of God’s people.
My purpose here is to alert us to the possibility that Antichrist’s forces could subtly be taking advantage of the church’s deplorable situation of not meeting together and executing her mission.
At a minimum, the evil one has strategically utilized, if not planned, this attack on the church. The church is his greatest enemy. If Antichrist’s main characteristic is deceit, does not this whole pandemic become a blatant attack on the church?
What is worse is that I don’t hear churches sounding the alarm that the Antichrist might be making an advance against the church. They are preoccupied with effective mask and social-distancing rules rather than with the devastating purposes of the real enemy. We should stay well-guarded. Have you heard anyone linking Satan’s attack with the church’s not meeting together.
The world governments have convinced many Christians that they are on their side—but this is uncertain. But even if they are for the moment, the effect is the same; the enemy has decimated the church. Many Christians are simply not going to church, witnessing, praying, and reading their Bibles.
Does the church not see this as a crisis when many of God’s people are content not to meet and pray? Why are so many Christians not desperate to meet again? Has the pandemic and political smokescreens hidden the ‘apostasy’ seeds that Satan has secretly planted in the hearts of former attenders?
The dark forces are cleverly taking advantage of the spiritually crippled and isolated church. I hope I am wrong, but I see other signs, too, that suggest Antichrist is coming soon.
Danger #2: A Global Effect
Another sign of the Antichrist will be the worldwide exhibition of his massive power.
Suppose the pandemic or governmental actions merely represented a specific region of the globe. In that case, we could say we are not essentially different from what the seven churches experienced in Revelation 2-3. Certain regional churches suffered due to Satan’s devious plans (Rev 2:9,13,24; 3:9.) Antichrist’s agenda, however, will be worldwide, which is what we see developing today.
Certain things need to take place to make governments willing to surrender their authority to an outsider, that is, to submit to a world leader. The pandemic and incumbent economic crisis, however, is paving the way for this very thing.
Seizing the economic reins of many governments enable a new world power, in full rhythm to Daniel’s world government prophecies (Daniel 7), to overcome the governments’ interference. These countries, like individuals, do their most to maintain their own control and purpose.
In an orchestrated fashion, governments around the world, hiding under the skirts of pandemic confusion, closed down shop and worship—strongly suggesting this period as a possible subtle assembling of the devil’s forces.
Consider for a moment:
Will the present circumstances require another worldwide catastrophe to engineer this economic collapse? Maybe, maybe not. Other pressures—another pandemic, war, disaster, etc., would speed up the process. Once the global states become financially desperate, they will be forced to accept the lenders’ terms.
- The governments as a collective have used the pandemic to shut down the global society.
- Each country has strategically used this situation to dive into a cesspool of unprecedented huge debt, making each country very susceptible to takeover and outside control. (Who are the countries indebted to?)
- Debt has now become the way countries secure wealth. The loan rates have gone berserkly negative—making no sense whatsoever.
- International travel and communications have largely been shut down.
- The government, along with social media, now censor and control what they decide is undesirable information.
- Covid is still actively assaulting countries and may be poising another strike on western countries.
- A resetting of morals and values has twisted God’s holy laws—the “lawless One” (which will be our third point).
- The IMF (International Monetary Fund) is now distributing their world currency, the SDR, which might provide the framework for a world government, at least at the highest level.
There is no doubt in my mind that Antichrist will herald great persuasive worldwide utopian promises, convincing most that it’s time to institute the new, peaceful age so that social justice and Green New Deal principles can be fully implemented. Worldwide peace and security are the promises, but instead of providing peace, a worldwide tyrannical force will create a magnitude of oppression never before seen unleashed.
These signs should build up the worldwide stage to welcome Antichrist and his saving promises. Satan will give Antichrist the world, seen in his description of “ten horns and seven heads” (Rev 13:1), gobbling up all authority and power. “…Authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.” (Rev 13:7)
Interestingly, just a year ago, this talk of a “Great Reset” was shouted down as extremism. However, now (May 2021), the powerful and rich elite openly use this term to describe their agenda.
We should expect that the Great Reset will mark a new era obliterating the now fixed BC and AD periods, which celebrates the true coming of the Messiah Jesus. The Antichrist’s revolution will reject anything that reminds us of the Creator, being full of blasphemous words.
The third integral scheme of Satan is set to blot out all truth and light.
Danger #3: The Value Reset
Jesus and the apostles not only spoke of world power but false teaching. I’m still not positive if the same false teaching that John mentions of “Christ did not come in the flesh” teaching will again occur or that it’s representative of false teaching denying the Gospel in general.
The lack of church attendance might be one factor depicting apostasy, but other things also happen in people’s lives that foster a turning away. Apostasy often attaches itself to a new mindset that minimizes guilt, allowing for a new set of habits and values.
The world already exerts its powerful influence, mainly through media, effectively shaping peoples’ perspectives around the world. Is this not what Isaiah prophesied and is now taking a grip of the whole world?
20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
And clever in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21)
The new society’s value reset will not offer a slight modification to biblical values but a complete rejection. Satanic rituals, for example, reverse the Lord’s Prayer and other parts of God’s Word in their rituals.
The world’s manner of propagating and exalting unbiblical values counters what makes for a godly and good people. The tossing overboard of cultures brings a fast-changing revolution of ideas all around the world. While some are now seeking approval, others have diabolically spread their evil poison for decades. They claim scientific verity but are quite unwilling to examine and prove their irrational conclusions, “Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools” (Rom 1:22).
Evolution and self-evolving versus Creation and God-made
Instead of being indebted to God our Maker and owing Him our honor and obedience, evolution propagates false atheistic teaching resulting in a mindset acting independently of God (Ex 20:2-4). When people are free from God, they feel free to live by their desires, accepting immorality as typical and normal. They become open to other solutions to the origin of mankind—such as alien beings. By adopting such ideas, biblical morals are pushed aside. Many professing Christians commit fornication, approving intimacy before marriage.
Man-made race rather than people made in God’s image
The arrogant elite believe they can create a better trans-race, a combined force of human and technology, far superior to the human race. They are now genetically experimenting on mankind to broaden the experiment and appear willing to allow a foreign, higher mind to control and direct them—but not the God who made them.
A leader replaces the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace
Antichrist arrogantly believes the world’s throne belongs to him. He desires the worship of all, thus eradicating any respect given to the Lord Jesus, who truly has all authority and power in heaven and on earth (Mat 28:17-18).
A life of leisure replaces work
The new society promises equal rewards, not dependent on work. Already, governments are eager to set the UBI (universal basic income) where each person gets paid the same, confounding God’s teaching of six-day work-weeks with one day rest (Ex 20:8-11).
Non-gender gibberish replaces God-given gender
Frequent news articles feverishly implant a new mindset that obliterates the apparent male/female genders and offers alternatives, promising full self-realization but denies God-given gender, roles, and purpose (Gen 1:27).
Rejection of society’s foundation based in marriage and parenting
Immorality breeds irresponsibility and thereby rejects marriage and family. Lust dictates choices (Ex 20:14), making them minimize physical reproduction and faithfulness in marriage, further obliterating what God stated was very good—the best (Gen 1:28-30).
Population limits replace God’s expansion plan
Many state governments have initiated rigorous plans to curtail the population. They might present themselves as benign forces helping the health of women, but their purposes are to limit, in some cases, exterminate—excess numbers of human beings. The proponents of abortion and war have already killed millions. God stated not to murder (Ex 20:13) because He made man in His image. Death is unnatural and results from sin. The abortion arena has minimized life’s value and significantly increased society’s murderous waves in the society through abortion, euthanasia, and other mass-killing programs. The world seeks security and prosperity by eliminating unwanted people, but God loves and blesses each person.
At the end of the age, forces will gravitate to either light or dark sides. Freedom, life, and protection have come by sending the Gospel to the ends of the earth. But now, this arising geo-political world city-kingdom dominated by Antichrist will squash the movement of the Gospel and the existence of the church so that he has full room for his arrogant leadership.
Value changes have come like an avalanche. Like hedonism and evolution, Heathen philosophies have laid a foundation upon which Satan can easily replace God’s values with his agenda. Great pain and anguish always follow the divorce from the truth.
Danger #4: The Mark of the Beast
The Book of Revelation mentions the mark of the beast numerous times (Rev 13:17; 14:9,11; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4); commentaries frequently mention it. I originally did not include this sign with the Antichrist. The mark is largely a work of the second beast who works in close conjunction with the first beast, the Antichrist.
There is a time element too, but upon further thought, this and all of Revelation 13 is meant to be a set of signs to expose the layers of deceit blinding God’s people to the evil one’s crafty ways.
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. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. (Rev 13:16-18)
However, two current developments bring this into the present even as I write: digital currencies and a mark.
Digital currencies are replacing cash and can easily be controlled and linked (i.e., mark). Governmental digital currencies, like China’s, will be able to control our spending and censor those whom it desires; it’s being set in place even as I write. China currently links its digital currency to the behavior of the people. They are forbidden to ride trains if they break the law. For example, if their computers recognize them jay-walking, they will penalize them.
These developments have become compelling evidence that they will supervise how we live by controlling our accounts, thus making the prophecy possible: “no one will be able to buy or to sell” (Rev 13:17).
Once they activate the digital currency, they can easily link it to something like a vaccine passport, which is now being strongly promoted. Once this is accepted, they can easily replace it with a microchip on one’s forehead—the beast’s mark.
As much as one might detest this talk of the mark of the beast, we will be wise to remember that the Bible’s detailed description and repetition warn us of these coming dangers. When you are in line one day and asked if you want the injection on your forehead or right hand, wake up! Get out of there. Be ready to forsake your job and security to maintain your allegiance to Jesus Christ.
To be exact, it’s the “beast coming up out of the earth” that sponsors this whole program. And though Antichrist might not directly promote this marking, the first beast (of the sea) does it for him and brings worship to Antichrist and Satan. An unholy trinity is evident here.
This mark of the beast, though associated with Antichrist, appears to follow his appearing. To be clear, however, Revelation 13:11 does not state the second beast is sequential, but only that John saw another beast after the first. The two can arise together so that the mark of the beast is implemented at the same time. In any case, we do see the technology, the world’s acceptance of digital currencies, and an increasing call for a mandate to get a vaccine passport to implement Satan’s complete control over humanity.
As for me, I’ve already decided I’m not compromising by getting the mark of the beast. I realize that the controlling government might steal control of my account, but I am prepared to give up my security and life, if need be, if they compel me to receive the mark of the beast. Have you?
There are other definite signs of Antichrist that we should not miss—Revelation 13 is full of them: His extreme power and authority (13:2); an amazing recovery from death (13:3); worldwide worship (13:3-4); notably arrogant and blasphemous (13:5); defier of God (13:6); persecutor of Christians (13:7); and stupefied worldwide worship (13:8). These signs and wonders will mystify (i.e., stupefy) us.
The beast from the earth will work in conjunction with the first (13:11), implementing other signs compelling all to worship the first beast (12) and getting the mark of the beast. The merging of the two beasts in their purpose and power becomes confusing, but their one hideous goal is to make us transfer our worship to Satan, which Revelation 13 openly describes.
The most common sign, spoken and seen in both Old and New Testament, is Satan’s deceit. This means most people will be oblivious to these dangers as they come upon them. They will be leisurely enjoying the beach as the deadly tsunami approaches.
Antichrist and the Rapture
An example of increasing blindness that scares me is how many Christian teachers teach with unbiblical authority that the rapture will take God’s people before the Antichrist comes. I don’t mind them teaching it as a possibility but to adamantly teach it as true deceives people. Doesn’t Paul frankly warn us that Antichrist precedes Christ’s coming? I know Christians skirt about this issue by separating the rapture from Christ’s return, but many see this event in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 as the same as Christ’s return—that which precedes His Judgment.
What if the pre-tribulation rapture does not happen before Antichrist comes? Will not a majority of American Christians be confused when they face the oppression due to Antichrist? Teachers have wrongly taught that God will not allow Christians to suffer the tribulation, though the scriptures repeatedly state many Christians will be martyred. Revelation 2 and 3 show what our loving God will allow.
Why are these teachers relentlessly point God’s people to a rapture when Paul states the apostasy and the appearing of Antichrist will first occur? When Christians believe they will be raptured before the Antichrist’s appearing (pre-tribulation rapture), Christians dangerously remove themselves from the warnings of Jesus, Paul, and John. Be careful. Satan is very cunning.
Antichrist is actively putting things into place for his coming. Satan distorts values and facts, being convinced his ways are better than God’s. Being so convinced, Satan seeks out accomplices to hijack the world—like Antichrist and all of us.
Though holding all power and authority, Jesus will allow the evil one to manifest his foolish and impotent rebellion but only for a short time. The Book of Revelation reveals Satan’s plan to set up this Antichrist, the first beast, to establish his goals and values, all opposing what God has revealed in His Word.
Meanwhile, Satan continues to use his deceitful tactics to manipulate people to reach his aggrandized goals. We only can guess which wealthy individuals might be behind the coming bankruptcy of the nations and the Great Reset, but Satan plans to step in, usurp all and dispose of any who dare steal attention from him as he briefly rules the ruined earth.
“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him” (John 8:44).
God gives us plenteous signs to heighten our guard. Take heed. Those things that we would anticipate to happen to prepare a way for Antichrist’s coming are now unfolding before our eyes.
Extended preparations for the evil one’s rule have recently taken place by four powerful and extreme worldwide movements:
(1) The crippled church,
(2) the global takeover,
(3) the replacement of truth with falsehood, and
(4) the mark of the beast.
If for some reason, this is not the time of Antichrist’s arrival, these signs will warn us not to be deceived by his tactics. This summer (2021) America joins other countries to digitalize the American dollar.
Not many Christians are thinking of Antichrist during this pandemic. The preoccupation of our health has enabled the government and central banks to secure further control of people’s minds, hearts, and purses. Stay alert and determine not to compromise, now or in the future.
Even if we lose all on earth, we will forever abide in God’s new heavens and earth in His glorious presence.
Discussion Questions on Signs of Antichrist
- Why does the author think that we should expect certain conditions to be set up before the Antichrist comes?
- What does Paul say must happen before Christ’s return in 2 Thes 2:3-4?
- What differentiates between many antichrists and an Antichrist that John mentions in 1 John 2:18?
- Why does the author consider the fact of Christians not meeting together as a warning sign?
- Do you know of any Christians pointing out the possible link between the coming of the antichrist with the church not assembling together? If so, what do people say?
- How does the lack of koinonia fellowship greatly impair the Christian church (Heb 10:25)?
- Why are many Christians not desperate to meet again? Could this be a sign of an apostasy? Explain.
- How is economic control of the world related to the coming of the Antichrist?
- Memorize two lines of Isaiah 5:20-21. Do you find this true today?
- Pick out two of the ways truth has been negated in our world that affects you most.
- Would you say that you are spiritually ready in case the Antichrist comes? How might you better ready yourself?
Other references on Signs of Antichrist’s Coming
Antichrist in the Bible: What does the Bible say about the Antichrist?
We dare not take our eyes off the warnings of the possible entry of Antichrist onto earth’s shores during this hyped coming of a global “Great ...
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