Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Watching for the approaching Tribulation: The rise of the antichrist

Our prophecy watching involves several dimensions. First, we can watch for the various signs that Jesus gave, as found in the Olivet Discourse. These signs were "global" in nature, and signs that anyone in the world can watch. And they are obvious. We also watch the signs given by Ezekiel and Daniel (revival of the Roman Empire and its growth, the opening of the prophetic scrolls, the last generation being a time of travel and knowledge, the regathering of Israel, the restoration of Israel's land, the gathering coalition of countries aligned against Israel, etc.).

And we also watch for signs of the coming Tribulation, here including such things as the efforts to rebuild the Jewish Temple, on the Temple Mount (as this must occur at least before the 1/2 way point in the Tribulation); we watch the progress being made for the Mark of the Beast and we watch for the world government's early stages.

In addition to all of this, many folks watch for figures who could emerge, figures who would be candidates for the antichrist.

According to Biblical prophecy, the antichrist will not be definitively identified until he "confirms the covenant" (a covenant between Israel and "the many" - presumed to be a peace plan in the region). This covenant confirmation officially begins the 7 year Tribulation according to Daniel 9:27. Before that epic event, its all a matter of speculation as to the identity of the antichrist. And, to add to that - given that the Church will have been raptured prior to this event, so we, "The Church" will not know the identity of the antichrist.

Many have asked if Obama is a candidate for the title. I do not believe so, because we know that the antichrist will come from the revived Roman Empire.

Many prophecy watchers, including myself, often speculate as to whether we will see the early phases of the rise of the antichrist. The answer is "I don't know". One would think, that if the Rapture takes place immediately before the beginning of the Tribulation, then we would probably have a good idea. If the Rapture takes place years before the beginning of the Tribulation, then the odds are lower that we'd see the early rise to power of the antichrist - in my opinion.

Having said that, there are several elements that I look for in this "watch". Much of this isn't necessarily "scriptural" but more of a process of looking at the big picture and putting together elements of various prophecies that are written:

- Someone who ascends rapidly, seemingly from "nowhere" like Obama. (this is my opinion)
- Someone who is very "Pro-EU", and fosters a larger more potent EU.
- Someone highly charismatic, who gains big, widespread popularity.
- Someone who is deceptive and very clever.
- In fact, you could say - someone who has a rise to power very much like Obama - only he will have increasing popularity which continues unabated.

In this context (and I am not attempting to identify the antichrist - but the following scenario is exactly what I would expect to see when he does gain power), I find the following story-line definitely worth watching, not just for me, but for any prophecy watcher:

"The American Obama?"

It seems that Britain is about to make the same mistake America made in 2008.

...a coalition would give the Liberal Democrats the sort of power they have never seen before.

Because the Liberal Democrats would determine the coalition, they have not been challenged by the two main parties, who both want this third party to side with them. This has set up a situation where the young, unknown Lib-Dem leader -- Nick Clegg -- has not had his party's policies challenged and was able to present himself in last week's debate as the centrist who is something different from the establishment.

Clegg was able to promise the world, and neither Cameron nor Brown dared to challenge him
. Clegg claimed that he would increase funding to our health service, make sure our troops had the best equipment and higher wages, put more police on the street, expand the welfare state, make Britain environmentally friendly, increase numbers of doctors and nurses, "fix" immigration and the prison system, provide care for the elderly, cut the national deficit, and cut taxes for all except the very rich. He offered to fix everything, with almost no cost whatsoever. The British Obama, anyone?

With Nick Clegg's claims unchallenged, the public have bought into his offer of a "different type of politics," and Lib-Dem popularity has skyrocketed. Clegg's personal popularity is in the 70% bracket, and a new poll has the perpetual third-place party now incredibly ahead of both Conservative and Labour by at least six points. Although a Lib-Dem majority seems unlikely, if they can keep this momentum going for just a few weeks, then they could be the dominant party in any coalition, which would make Clegg the natural choice for Prime Minister.

Their economic policies[i] are a plethora of mansion taxes, aviation taxes, capital gains taxes, bank taxes, business taxes, etc., as well as regulating banks out of business -- all reminiscent of the rich-hating mentality that brought Britain to its knees in the 1970s. Lib-Dem environmental policy includes rejecting both coal and nuclear power, attacking the aviation industry, and banning or taxing to death anything that isn't environmentally friendly. More tax increases would follow in order to fund the many U.N. and EU projects on "climate change action" they support, and Lib-Dem "green targets" are so high, even by Europeans' standards (who don't think they go far enough for Clegg), that Britain would collapse.

As for Europe, the Lib-Dems would drag Britain into the Euro currency without a vote, give up even more power to Brussels, and force taxpayers to fund yet more liberal dream projects such as "the global fund for social protection" (paying for other countries' welfare states), funds for green jobs in other countries, subsidies for European farmers, and funding for useless European agencies such as Eurojust.

It is defense where Clegg's Lib-Dems get really scary. Clegg would surrender British sovereignty in favour of an EU-led "European foreign policy", rule out military action against Iran, hold inquiries into "allegations" of torture made against British soldiers, and most shockingly, scrap the Trident nuclear defence, as there is "no need" for a nuclear deterrent according to Mr Clegg.

and this:

"Nick Clegg nearly as popular as Winston Churchill"

NICK CLEGG, the Liberal Democrat leader who until a few days ago was little known to voters, is now the most popular party leader since Winston Churchill, a new Sunday Times poll reveals.

Following his decisive victory in last week’s television debate, Clegg has surged to a higher approval rating than Tony Blair at the peak of new Labour’s popularity.

Clegg himself has an almost unprecedented approval rating of 72%, ahead of Cameron on 19% and Brown on minus 18%.

There has also been an eight-fold increase in visits to the party’s website, with Lib Dem strategists plotting how to capitalise on the new interest in their leader

and this...

"Cleggmania spreads across Britain"

This eye-catching challenge from an outsider to the "old politics" of Gordon Brown and David Cameron, Labour and Tory, put Mr Clegg ahead among the 9.4 million-strong audience – many of whom were watching the Lib Dem leader for the first time – where he remained until the end.

The ComRes/ITV poll on the night gave him a jaw-dropping victory

This may end up as a big "nothing"...He could lose the elections and fade into obscurity. Who knows.
On the other hand, as mentioned, this is the kind of thing worth watching. A new leader emerges and gains almost immediate popularity. He wants to expand the EU and fold his country up into the EU full scale. he is charismatic, but still, a virtual "unknown". He is for massive taxation and he makes outrageous promises, but the population (much like the Obama election) only listens to his promises - without much basis in fact. But it doesn't matter - because he is attractive and spins a good story - one that convinces people, despite all logic and facts in the opposite direction.

Who knows where this will go, but this amazing story represents a figure - at least the type of figure - who is most definitely worth watching. His rise is exactly what we would expect from the "Tribulation Leader".

In 25 years of prophecy watching, I have yet to see a European/UK figure who is this interesting.

We shall see...Or perhaps not; it all depends on how much longer before the "gathering up" of the Church.


Expected Imminently said...

My word Scott, you have been busy.

I don’t really understand much about politics, but as far as I can see, democracy is a dead duck and is only paid lip service too keep the masses quiet. I now vote UKIP to oppose the E.U. I am told I am wasting my vote and need to vote for Cameron to get Brown out! I don’t buy that, I honestly think we will get the party ‘they’ want us to have, so all I can do is show my protest.

We have just had our first ever three, main party, debate on t.v. (organised boredom imo). We were told that the winner of the debate in the U.S. always turned out to be the winning candidate of the election. Hah!

One thing I do know, we Brits love the ‘under-dog’. I can promise you that when it comes down to the actual vote, things will be very different. So much so, if Clegg win’s I’ll eat my hat! AND it will be evidence to me that the Liberals are the choice of the ‘they’. Working through hung Parliament votes, the Liberals have successfully been at the root cause of Britain’s demise even though they haven’t been in power for ‘yonks’!


Tasarwen said...

Sue, I hope for the very best for you and all our friends across the pond. You are about to go through what we in the US have been through; the "election" of a mysterious nobody. I do not know what concerns me more, having someone in office we know nothing about, or the people who voted for him. I think deception is the word of the day. It certainly is something to raise ones eyebrow.

Scott, another great blog entry (as always). Thank you! :)

Expected Imminently said...

God bless your heart, and thank you!

I am not too worried about Cleggy! He is well known to us Brits, and it is the young who are likely to be most wooed by Liberalism's pie in the sky promises.

That said, we have an aging majority population at present, some of whom are being tempted to vote for the BNP (Nazi's). This may happen out of ignorance to what they are really about, this kind of voting may be effective in voting Liberal by default.

BUT, as I have already said, I strongly suspect our future government is already decided.


Diana said...

Like Sue, I will probably vote UKIP and really don't think Clegg will be elected leader of our parliament - with the voting system here, he won't have enough seats to form a government with the share of the vote currently forecast. The best he can hope for is a hung parliament which will give him some power.

Personally, I find Sarkozy much more interesting than Cleggy...

Scott said...

I agree with the comments above. And I love getting insight on what is happening over in the UK - many thanks for your comments.

This serves as an example of the kind of rise to power the AC will have - whoever it turns out to be.

And much speculation is involved as well.

I believe there are several people "of interest' and I still put Tony Blair on that list (mainly because of his current position in the ME), and as mentioned, Sarcozy is interesting.

King Abdullah of Jordan has always had my interest. For years. If you see him interviewed, you can easily see what I mean - he is a very "commanding" presence - speaks several languages, is charismatic, etc.

In all probability, someone may rise to power (initially) after the Rapture.

Who knows. But whenever I see someone rise like Clegg, it raises my eyebrows and forces me to keep up with that person's "comings and goings" as they say.

Thanks again for your input and insight into this!

God Bless

hartdawg said...

actually, the 10nation confederacy comes BEFORE rise of the anti-christ. this guys rise to power, his nationality and policies match but europe (rome) needs to have a 10 nation (horn/toe)government 1st THEN a little (obscure) horn arises.

hartdawg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

thats true and a good point - in fact I was just having that very discussion a few minutes ago.

Also - keep in mind, during someone's rise to power, the initial "rise" in power would probably be within that person's country (within the EU/Med Union). Then, at some point, the individual would shift positions to some powerful position within the EU.

So, for instance, someone like Clegg could initially begin their ascent from within their country, during or before the 10 Kings become an entity. Then, following the formation of the 10 kings, the person could shift into their EU role, as an expansion of whatever position that they had in the parent country.

Just one potential scenario.

We'll only see the very beginning of "that individual's" rise to power. Not sure if we'll be here for the 10 kings stage or not. (hope not anyway :)

hartdawg said...

i think the 10 nations happens after Gog/magog. very shortly afterwards. (it only takes one world leaders summit to accomplish this) so no, i dont think we`ll be here.

Scott said...

I agree with that...I think Gog-MaGog also occurs soon after whatever happens this summer (assuming we have the "beginning" of conflict this summer as so many people anticipate....

I suspect Gog-MaGog will be the response to whatever happens in the next round....With the next round quite possibly involving the fate of Damascus....

hartdawg said...

i agree mostly, xept the length of time between damascus (i`ll insert psalm 83 here because those nations are involved as well) and Gog/magog. there needs to be enough time for them to "dwell safely in the land" an immediate result, to "recover from war" and the Gog/magog alliance to prepare and strike. all of which could be accomplished in about 6months.

Scott said...

I've read several commentaries where the case is made that the root-verb is "securely" rather than "safely" - which is a subtle change.

When Damascus gets destroyed, (the way I read Isa 17) - there will be a lot of destruction in the region, and its possible that Hezbollah and southern Lebanon will be hit hard, removing the immediate threat between Isa 17 and Gog-MaGog (ie, in that interval, they would be living securely based on the "imediate threat", ie, Syria/Lebanon/Hezbollah and quite possibly Hamas as well --- so, under that theory, between Isa 17 and Gog-MaGog, there would be a period of Israel living "securely" with the immediate threat eliminated.

WHo knows - there are multiple scenarios that get played out - in prophecy circles - It'll probably be a scenario that nobody imagined in advance ! Go figure.

Expected Imminently said...

YES! Another Brit; that’s great, as we seem to be thin on the ground in this area of interest! It is SO good to hear/read of you. Dare I hope you are PREtrib as well?

Did you hear the ‘planes are allowed to fly again? I do hope and pray they are right about this; it would be dreadful for them to find out the hard way by losing a few tourist laden planes. I heard a man say they THINK it’s ok!!! I am near the U.S. bases in the Cotswolds; I fully expected to hear their transporters low rumblings during the night. Its nearly 4.30 now (woken up) and I haven’t heard a thing. Perhaps the airforce doesn’t consider it safe!

I know many have their eyes on Sarkosy; personally I am sticking to Tony Blair. Although Hartdawg is right about the need for the ten toes nations to put in an appearance first. The way things can move, this could all happen in a flash and whoever a/c turns out to be, I am not alone in thinking he is already around ‘pulling strings’. Generally I am not looking out for a/c, rather THE Christ Jesus! Maranatha!

Can you explain this? I was sound asleep and dreaming, my thoughts turned to my eldest son. I remember my heart sinking as I wondered if he is truly saved. Then I came too with a word stuck in my head. Paralambano! That’s why I am here; I know you wrote that in concern with the Noah verses. Half asleep, I booted up, and while waiting looked in my Strongs Greek section and found it easily as #3880 as ‘to take’. Finally I looked up in the Blueletter Bible and the meaning shouted to me ‘Rapture’. Have to admit I did have a tiny piece of cheese before bed?

Ah! Its now 4:39 and I have just heard a small civilian plane go over. Still no air-force one’s though! I pray they are safe. That’s enough of my nocturnal ramblings.

God bless

P.S. Scott, 'Betach' in Ez. definitely means 'secure' not 'peace'. Nowhere does it say 'peace'.

Scott said...

As you probably know, that verb, paralambano was the same verb used in John 14:1-3 passage which is most definitely a rapture reference (in fact, its actually more - as it draws a parallel to the ancient Jewish Wedding customs of the day, when the bridegroom would come for the bride, unexpectedly, usually in the middle of the night ---- after having completed the "dwelling place" for he and his bride. Its a beautiful passage in that context, and its use of paralambano is unequivocal as a rapture reference IMO.

So so nice to have our British friends on board!

I used to travel to greater London extensively, for years on business...Surry county has a special place in my heart - as I stayed there (usually in the country) so often. I love it there, and I love my British friends!

God Bless

Expected Imminently said...

The first I knew about paralambano was from you. After reading what you said, I thought to check it out for myself, but didn't get round to it.

My family are a great concern to me at present although each of my four lads were saved while young (middle age now). Nathan Jones and co. have been a huge support to me of late as I have no church and little to no physical fellowship.

This morning, I spoke to my friend on the 'phone about my dream and paralambano. She is as certain as can be that the Lord in His mercy used that to reassure me that when the paralambano happens, my son - all my family - WILL be raptured because they all gave their hearts to Jesus.

Not all will agree with this personal word, but it is very real to me and I know its from Jesus. If I hadn't been trying to check out the birth pangs, I would not have seen your comments.

Don't want to sound too pathetic, but it has been a pretty miserable time of late, and Jesus has bothered to let me know the truth and calmed my heart with His peace.

SEE Scott, what the Lord has done for me because you were obedient! Praise the Lord! Maranatha and God bless you.

PS I am from Glos'shire - big hug.

Scott said...

Ahhhhhhh Glos'shire! Indeed.

I know so many people lately who have been experiencing various struggles. In fact, so many people who are close to me are experiencing a lot right now.

But I firmly embrace the concept of grace, and once saved always saved. I believe there are sufficient scriptures to support that view - and also, every Christian will be taken up. In the Rapture passage of 1 Cor 15, it states that we "all" experience the Rapture, and to bolster that view, the church in Corinth was infamously "carnal". ....The same criteria for salvation applies to the Rapture. So indeed - "Paralambano" should be encouraging to all of us, and particularly you - given that experience.

And as Paul stated - this is a message of great hope and comfort and we should be encouraging each other with these words. (1 Thess 5) - and thats one thing that we all do for each other - build each other up with this message!


Expected Imminently said...

Scott said Ahhhhhhh Glos'shire! Indeed

Dontcha mean Arrrrrrrr Jim lad?!:D
They calls us straw kickers in London - well, to be honest, its worse than that but I shant repeat it ;)

Bless you for your support, I couldn't bear to be challenged harshly right now, having had children makes one a mite sensitive! The little stinkers, love their hearts!!!

Just to pass on what I know The Lord also showed me today. Not only are we in the 'moving about' relatively normal stage of the birth pangs. As they increase, and the timing decreases between pangs - the waters will break = the Rapture!

During the Trib. there will be no 'normality' and no respite between the contractions until the babe is born.
Big hug x

Expected Imminently said...

While it is true the Brits like an 'underdog'; we also have a nasty tendency to pull down to earth those we perceive as 'lifted up'.

The Press are now calling Cleggy 'Hitler' instead of 'Churchill'. He is having a right royal roasting over 'financial fiddles'.

As the blind man said as he bumped into a lamp post "We shall see?"