What an exciting time to be alive. The national news seems to be paralleling the prophetic scriptures, with the Bible, fast and furiously. And a good number of these events center around the state of Israel. We know from scriptural studies, that during the seven year tribulation period, directly after Christians are called home to be with Christ, two distinct men will falsely rule and deceive the known world. Namely, the antichrist and the false prophet. And Jerusalem Israel will be the center of attention, for both.
This antichrist, an international false governmental figure, and his help-meet the false profit, a worldwide false religious leader, will act in concert to perform miracles and rule the world (2 Thess 2:9) (Rev 13:13-14). I am firmly convinced that both these characters are alive and well today, but just have not been revealed. I am also convinced that we are the last generation, to be alive when the Tribulation period occurs.
The next great event, on God's prophetic calendar, is the "rapture". The catching way of all saints (Christians), living and dead, to be united with Christ in the air. The Tribulation then begins, after the Rapture of the Church. The Bible does not state whether the Tribulation will begin a few days, a few weeks, or a few months after the disappearance of millions of people from the earth (Rapture of the Christian Church). However, we do know that the Tribulation begins the day the antichrist signs the peace treaty with Israel. This is a 7 year peace treaty with Israel, that lasts for 7 years, or 2,520 days (30 days to a Biblical month).(Daniel 9:27)
This signing of the peace treaty, by the antichrist, will bring false hope and peace to the world, and will do what no one else has ever done- bring Israel and Palestine together. In fact there will be peace for 3 1/2 years. After that the antichrist will break his pledge and stop the Jews from all their sacrifices, and he himself will set in the temple proclaiming to be God.(Matthew 24:15-16) This is called the "abomination of desolation" spoken of by Daniel the Prophet (Daniel 9:25-27) (Daniel 11:29-32) (Daniel 12:11-12), and confirmed by Jesus ( Matthew 24:15-21.
So, let us look at two political events, to shortly take place in concert, with respect to the nation Israel. How might these visits play out in prophecy ? Could these visits eventually lead to the prophetic signing of a peach agreement ? For now, let's just say this is another (GOK) question. A "God Only Knows" question.
Pope Francis will travel to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan in May, his first visit to the Holy Land and one that comes amid a new U.S. push for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
President Barack Obama will meet with Pope Francis for the first time on March 27 at the Vatican, the White House announced Tuesday.
Now back to the prophetic stage, the false profit and the antichrist. Who will they be, and where will they come from ? The internet has gone viral over the fact that the current Pope may be the "false prophet" during the Tribulation period. This assumption is due in part to the following prophetic history. I'm' not really sure about this prediction, other than it is very strange that the preceding Pope suddenly resigned, which was unprecedented. If Brother Malachy's prophecy is correct, we'd best be looking up. I do know, however, from surfing the internet that this current Pope seems to be giving controversial views outside of the church norm. Just check out the net.
In 1139 Brother Malachy wrote: “In extreme persecution, the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman, will feed the sheep through many tribulations, at the term of which the city of the seven hills will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people. The End.”
This prophecy appears to deal with the final Pope; Pope 112 to be specific. At this point in history the prophesied 112th has arrived as of March 13, 2013. Formerly known as (Cardinal) Jorge Bergoglio, he is now known as Pope Francis.
Jorge Bergoglio took on the name of Francis after “Francis of Assisi”. Francis of Assisi’s name was “Francisco di Pietro di. The name “Pietro” is Italian for “Peter”. And, Brother Malachy had prophesied that the last Pope (number 112) was identified by the name of “Petrus Romanus” or, “Peter the Roman”.
When Jorge Bergoglio was elected as the new Pope, he became the 112th Pope, “Petrus Romanus” according to the prophesies of Brother Malachy.
And what about the antichrist ? The same internet chatter holds true, with respect to the antichrist possibly being a well know current political figure, as compared with the characteristics of the antichrist. The Bible refers to the antichrist by several names. The Apostle Paul refers to him as "the man of lawlessness" and the "the man doomed to destruction" (2 Thes 2:3). The Book of Revelation uses several terms, such as the "beast coming out of the sea" (Revelation 13:1-10), a "scarlet beast" (Revelation 17:33), and most often, simply "the beast" (Revelation 17:8,16) (Revelation 19:19-20) (Revelation 20:10).
The antichrist will be a true liar and be controlled by Satan (Revelation 13:2) (John 8:44). He will speak boastfully about himself (Daniel 7:8) (Revelation 13:5) and blaspheme God (Daniel 7:25) (Daniel11:36) (Revelation 13:5). He will oppress the saints and be successful doing so (Daniel 7:25) (Revelation 13:7). He will attempt to change the calendar (Daniel 7:25) and remove religious holidays. He will also try to change the laws (Daniel 7:25), and consider himself above the law (Daniel 11:36). He will deceive (2 Thess 2:11) and many will worship him (Revelation 13:8). He will show no regard for the religion of his ancestors (Daniel 11:37). He will appear to have miraculously survived a fatal head wound (Revelation 13:3). (There seems to be a suggestion from (Zechariah 11:17), that the antichrist's arm will be totally withered, and his right eye will be blind). Another possibility, however, is that it is a metaphor for some event related to his origin -- a revived empire of the past. He will control a world banking system and not allow anyone to buy or to sell unless they take upon their right hand or forehead the "mark of the beast" (Revelation 13:15-17). Do these descriptive characteristics of the antichrist compare with any well know government leader in power today ?
Unlike the Rapture, which could occur at any time and without any event necessarily preceding it (1 Cor 15:51-52) (1 Thess 4:16-17), the antichrist will not come onto the world scene without a previous warning. A rebellion must take place (2 Thess 2:3), lawlessness must be intensified (2 Thess 2:7) (2 Timothy 3:1-4), and the Holy Spirit must be removed, with the saints (2 Cor 2:4) (Rev 12:4).
Yes, I firmly feel we are living in a time, never before seen in our nation or the world. A time when scripture prophecy is happening so rapidly its almost impossible to apprehend its meanings. A time when we Christians should be looking towards the skies.
One word of caution, in closing, even though these attributes mentioned seem to correspond with certain individuals in power, we must be careful not to prematurely point to world leaders or others in the world now and claim they are the antichrist or the false prophet. The Bible seems to be intentionally vague on such subjects. Maybe because such clues are to be decipher after the fact, to help the unbelieving public left behind at the Rapture fine redemption through Christ as Savior.
"After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands' ( Revelation 7:9)
"I answered, “Sir, you know.”And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Revelation 7:14).
(This great multitude is composed of many racial and geographic groups who were redeemed during the tribulation period. In these difficult days, many will find Christ as Savior.)
However, regardless of the current events, we must not give up hope.
"But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man". (Luke 21:36)
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