From 1974 and until he passed away in June of 2005, Frank Caw devoted a considerable amount of time to research and study in Bible prophecy and related philosophical and theological issues. This website is dedicated by his family to his memory and work and is as he presented it at the time of his death. The family of Frank Caw, Jr. would like to thank Tim McHyde of EscapeAllTheseThings.com for hosting his website.
While always insisting on a plain, literal and sensible approach to scriptural exegesis,
he has pieced together many new scriptural insights on a number of extraordinary
prophetic developments that are poised to be fulfilled in our immediate
Thus, it is safe to say that things are not going to happen the way many people think
they will happen.
But, this book will give you the scriptural keys for truly understanding what God has
preordained will happen, and how you can survive the incredible scenario of prophetic
events about to unfold!
|This ministry is dedicated to the loving memory of my
late wife, Debbie, who went to be in the presence of God on October 23, 1997, and who was
so instrumental in helping me to prepare for my ministry during those many long, difficult
II Thessalonians 2 And
Final Great Apostasy
The apostle Paul warns that the initial appearance of Antichrist will be “after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders”! (II Thess. 2:9). When the disciples asked Jesus, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age?” His immediate response was a warning: “Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Matt. 24:3, 4). In a similar vein, the apostle Paul said that “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (II Tim. 3:13). Clearly, these scriptures make it evident that religious and philosophical deception increasingly will flourish throughout society during the “time of the end.”
An Ipsos poll in 2006 found that 25% of adults believed it was at least "somewhat likely" that "Jesus Christ will return to Earth" in the coming year. Among white evangelical Christian adults, a whopping 46% believed this. Yet four years later Jesus still has not returned. Want to know why Jesus did not come in 2007, or any year since then and still won't come in 2011 (or anytime soon)? »» Read Featured Article
Jesus continued: “Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.” (Luke 21:8). It is interesting to note the New Age Movement teaches that all of us are really gods or divine-in-nature deep inside our psyches — it is just that we do not know it until we have achieved “Christ consciousness” or “oneness with the universe” through “higher consciousness” techniques. In more recent years, they also have insisted that humanity is poised to make a “sudden, evolutionary leap” or “transformation,” and that when sufficient numbers of individuals achieve a transformation (i.e., a mystical, pantheistic perception of reality), then all of the world can instantaneously make a dramatic leap forward in realizing the age-old dream of world peace, prosperity and the unity of all people embodied in a “new world order.” The apparent recent upsurge in freedom and democracy throughout the world, New Agers claim, is due, at least in part, to this “uplifting of spiritual consciousness.”
II Thessalonians 2:1, 2
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. (KJV)
The phrase, “day of Christ,” is more-accurately interpreted by many other translations, such as Young’s Literal Translation, as “Day of the Lord.” Likewise, Strong’s Hebrew-Greek Dictionary shows that the English word translated as “Christ” is not from the Greek word, CHRISTOS — which is used whenever “Christ” is intended — but from the Greek word KURIOS:
2962 kurios (koo’-ree-os); from kuros (supremacy); supreme in authority, i.e. (as noun) controller; by implication, Mr. (as a respectful title): KJV— God, Lord, master, Sir.
So, based on references such as Strong’s Hebrew-Greek Dictionary, the proper rendering for the phrase, “day of Christ,” is actually “day of the Lord,” thereby allowing this passage to be consistent with the prophetic teachings found elsewhere throughout biblical scriptures. Moreover, the “Day Of The Lord” should not be confused with “our gathering together unto him” (i.e., Rapture of the saints) because the “Day of the Lord” is a period of Divine judgment upon the earth which begins immediately after the Great Tribulation and the Sixth Seal are over. That stated definition for the expression, “Day Of The Lord,” is proven beyond any reasonable doubt by the following scriptural passages:
12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (KJV)
Revelation 8:1-2, 6-13
1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound! (KJV)
Revelation 9:1-10, 13-19
1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.
8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.
9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.
10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months....
13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.
16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.
17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.
18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. (KJV)
13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (KJV)
1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;
2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.
3 A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
4 The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run.
5 Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.
6 Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.
7 They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks:
8 Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.
9 They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.
10 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:
11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? (KJV)
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call. (KJV)
Isaiah 24:17-21, 23
17 Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth.
18 And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake.
19 The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.
20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.
21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.
23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously. (KJV)
6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt:
8 And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.
9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. (KJV)
1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4 And his feet shall stand... upon the mount of Olives.... (KJV)
II Peter 3:7-13
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men....
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. (KJV)
The Greek word for “pass away” means “to go by or away from in the sense of changing from one condition to that of another; it never means annihilation.” Likewise, the Greek word for “elements” is STOICHEION, and it means “element, principle, rudiment.” It is used in Gal. 4:3, 9 and Col. 2:8, 20 in reference to the principle of sin and of the present world system, including the things which man has made that have to be destroyed before the earth can be purified. Finally, the Greek word for both “melt” and “dissolved” is LUO, and it means to “loosen” (literally or figuratively), except in verse 12 where the Greek word for “melt” is a different word, TEKO, meaning to “liquefy.” Obviously none of these words imply an annihilation of the earth at any point in time; they simply indicate an episode of burning, melting, loosening and shaking for the earth. So, as we will confirm in chapter 6 of this book, this period of burning and loosening must occur during the “Day of the Lord” — which is when the Trumpet-Vial Plagues of fire will strike the earth. (Please see chapter 8 for a scriptural analysis on the reasons why the earth will never be annihilated.)
And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands; They shall perish (Gr. APOLLUMI; be destroyed or be ruined; but never annihilated)... and they shall be changed (Gr. ALLASSO; changed or made different). (KJV)
14 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.
15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,
16 A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.
17 And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. (KJV)
18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.
19 As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.
20 Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? (KJV)
Isaiah 2:10-12, 17-19
10 Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty.
11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
17 And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
18 And the idols he shall utterly abolish.
19 And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. (KJV)
Obviously the above scriptural passages in Revelation, describing the “great day of His wrath” — a day ushered in by the Sixth Seal, and highlighted by the seven horrific Trumpet-Vial plagues — sound remarkably similar to the descriptions of the “Day of the Lord” in Old Testament prophecies which describe Armageddon and the period of time immediately before Armageddon. Hence the inevitable conclusion that they are one and the same. Therefore, the “Day Of The Lord” is the name ascribed to the apocalyptic period of Divine judgments and destruction that will culminate in the Battle of Armageddon.
II Thessalonians 2:3
3 Let no man (especially Antichrist) deceive you by any means: for that day (i.e., Day of the Lord) shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed (after he has deceived). (KJV)
I Timothy 4:1
1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (KJV)
A “falling away” is translated from the Greek word APOSTASIA, which means “defection from truth,” i.e., “apostasy.” Therefore, by its very definition, the word “apostasy,” defined as “defection from truth,” means we are talking ONLY about people who are true believers in Christ Jesus who will decide, of their own God-given freewill, to renounce or backslide or desert or abandon their faith in Christ. Obviously you must first be somewhere before you can renounce or fall away from it. So, in this instance, we are not talking about unbelievers, but legitimate, born-again Christians who will be taken in by the final ultimate deception which will be waged by Antichrist through his highly-seductive “doctrines of devils.”
The world Christian community of believers has always experienced a certain amount of apostasy down throughout history. Furthermore, even though the modern church-world has already experienced a great deal of apostasy in many of its mainline denominations, it is logical to assume a very unusual amount of “backsliding” or apostatizing among Christians is intended in the fulfillment of this passage. Not only because Scripture takes special note of it as something very unusual, but also because the scriptural passage which warns us about the final falling away also implies it will be the Antichrist who will cause it to happen. That is why there is coming a day when the Bible predicts that many Christians will NOT withstand the incredible, seductive web of deception which the Antichrist will foist upon humanity. That is why the Bible most assuredly prophesies there will be a final, great apostasy among Christian believers immediately BEFORE the pre-tribulation Rapture occurs.
Such extraordinary deception will be possible for many reasons. For instance, the religious views of Antichrist will appear to be highly credible to most people because he will accomplish many tremendous things for the benefit of all humanity. (Daniel 7:8) (Daniel 8:23-25). Among these notable benefactions will be his miraculous, supernatural occult powers and military genius (Dan. 8:23-24) (Dan. 11:35-39) (Rev. 13:4) that will enable him, single-handedly, to enforce world peace and prosperity after saving the world from apparent destruction and devastation (I Thess. 5:3) (Daniel 8:25) (Rev. 6:1-8) (Rev. 18) (Matt. 24:37-39). He will even boast extraordinary, supernatural powers of the mind in apparent attainment of the New Age ideal, i.e., a god-man endowed with “Christ consciousness.” That may help to explain why most people will actually believe him when he proclaims himself to be a god above all other gods. Additionally, he will also appeal to the baser instincts of people by promoting humanistic and mystical views such as the inherent “goodness” of people, and the unlimited potential and power of the mind through “higher consciousness” techniques, and sorceries, and sexual promiscuity, and ecumenicalism, and global unity, and (selective) “tolerance” and “broadmindedness.”
Furthermore, by claiming the esoteric knowledge of how all humanity can achieve a higher level of existence, and proving it with “power and signs and lying wonders,” it will take a very strong Christian to endure the ridicule and criticism heaped upon anyone who refuses to be “scientific” and “modern” and “enlightened” and “progressive-minded.” You can be sure that most people will not look very favorably upon anyone who allegedly retards or prevents the marvelous “transformation” of the world into a “much better place to live.”
Only a very sincere, intellectually-honest, Bible-believing Christian, well-versed in matters pertaining to Christian eschatology (“end-time” biblical prophecies) and Christian apologetics (the vast array of evidence substantiating the truth claims of biblical Christianity), will possess the proper foundation of knowledge from which to resist the tremendous appeal this man and his religious umbrella of unity will pose! Perhaps that will be one reason why so many Christians will backslide in the days just before the Rapture — things will not have happened the way many people expect them to happen! The fact that so many Christians will backslide from their Christian faith and doctrine should give due credit to the incredible deception which the Antichrist will perpetrate upon the world.
Sometimes it is said that no other prophetic events can happen before the pre-tribulation Rapture because the Anti-Christ will not be “revealed” until AFTER the Rapture when the Holy Spirit is taken away. However, such thinking represents just one of the many misconceptions that have prevented us from understanding the biblical prophetic scriptures correctly. The truth is, II Thessalonians 2:6-8 only states that the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way of Satan after the Rapture, NOT necessarily out of the world. Otherwise, if the Holy Spirit, the agent of redemption and salvation, was taken out of the world after the pre-tribulation Rapture, the Bible would be lying when it predicts that some people will become Christians, i.e., Tribulation Saints, immediately AFTER the Rapture during the Great Tribulation. Thus, the Holy Spirit will only be taken out of the way of Satan after the Rapture, not out of the world, too. But, after the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way, the whole world will marvel at the recovery of the Antichrist after he is “wounded to death” and subsequently indwelt and possessed by Satan himself (Rev. 13:3).
Accordingly, we must be very careful to distinguish the difference between the “coming” of Antichrist (II Thess. 2:9) and the “revelation” of Antichrist (II Thess. 2:3). Because first he will come upon the world scene and deceive people about the true nature and source of his miraculous powers, then and only then, will he actually be “revealed” (Greek APOKALUPTO; defined as meaning “revealed, disclosed, uncovered”). But, once his true nature and source of power are “revealed” or “disclosed” to the world, immediately after the pre-tribulation Rapture, the world will then worship BOTH Satan and the Antichrist. (Rev. 13:1-4). Therefore, we will see the Antichrist when he first appears as a mere man endowed with satanic supernatural power. But we (as Christians) will not see him as Satan incarnate, i.e., possessed and indwelt by Satan, because that satanic union will not happen until after the Rapture takes place.
And through his policy also he shall cause craft (Heb. MIRMAH; fraud, guile, treachery, deceit) to prosper... and by peace (and prosperity) shall destroy (deceive, and thereby doom) many. (KJV)
War and famine do not fool anyone. But if the world was to encounter a man capable of creating an economic paradise on the earth while personally enforcing world peace and security, they would be easy prey to his miracles and philosophical ideas and religious beliefs. Even many Christians will be deceived! In the scriptural passage above, Strong’s Hebrew-Greek Dictionary defines the word “craft” as meaning “fraud, guile, treachery and deceit,” and the word “peace” as meaning “peace, prosperity, security and abundance.” So on that basis, the above scriptural passage predicts that the policies of the Antichrist will cause fraud and guile and treachery and deceit to prosper, and that Antichrist will destroy people, spiritually, through peace and prosperity and security and abundance. Therefore, when placed within this context, Satan will find it easy to deceive people, even sincere Christians, if they are confused and misinformed, or even uninformed, about what is truly happening. That is why it is so spiritually dangerous that such tremendous confusion and controversy surrounds the subject of Bible prophecy, often to the point where many Christians even disdainfully ignore it altogether.
II Thessalonians 2:1-12
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth (restraineth) will let (restrain), until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wicked (i.e., Antichrist) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him (i.e., Antichrist), whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (KJV)
“Mystery of iniquity.” Strong’s Hebrew-Greek Dictionary defines the words “mystery” and “iniquity” in the following manner:
3466 musterion (moos-tay’-ree-on);
from a derivative of muo (to shut the mouth); a secret or “mystery” (through the idea of silence imposed by initiation into religious rites):
458 anomia (an-om-ee’-ah);
from 459; illegality, i.e. violation of law or (genitive case) wickedness:
KJV— iniquity, X transgress (-ion of) the law, unrighteousness.
Thus, the conceptual point envisaged in II Thessalonians 2 appears to be that the expression, “mystery of iniquity,” encompasses the whole range of evil and deceit that leads to willful and deliberate spiritual blindness, and religious and moral deception. Therefore, a fervent love and intense desire for the truth, or the lack thereof, seems to be the key element involved whenever obedience to God’s Laws is at stake. Traditionally, “truth” has always been defined as any hypothetical proposition that corresponds to reality based upon factual evidence and logical consistency. That is why Christians believe a careful and honest examination of the evidence reveals that the personal, infinite, triune God of biblical Christianity is Ultimate Truth precisely as the Bible tells us.
However, over the last couple of centuries, the concept and definition of “truth” has undergone a gradual and radical transformation throughout most of society due to the influence of relativistic thinking (as opposed to absolutes based upon the logic law of non-contradiction). Thus, no longer is “truth” always thought of as something which corresponds to reality. Instead, many times “truth” is viewed simply as something which is desirable or convenient to believe in for various extraneous, unrelated reasons. That is why so many people find it easier than ever before to believe in whatever it is they wish to believe about many different things in life, especially in matters pertaining to religion and morality. Likewise, in the case of many professing Christians, this distorted, irrational view of truth and reality enables them to ignore or reinterpret biblical scriptures whenever they find them unpleasant or otherwise disruptive to their lifestyle. This then is the willful, stubborn, spiritual blindness which the Bible condemns; the unwillingness to seek and accept the truth gladly and unreservedly — no matter what it is. Because we should always embrace and love the truth, eagerly, even if it contradicts something we have always cherished or believed. Thus, no tradition or theory or custom or belief should be immune to scrutiny. Therefore, willful spiritual blindness dominates people “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
“Now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.... only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” We should note first that the words “letteth” and “let” are old, archaic English words that are defined as meaning “hinder,” or “to hold down” in the Greek. Moreover, it is said that the “restrainer” or “hinderer” in this scriptural passage is restraining the “revelation” of Antichrist until the “restrainer” is “taken out of the way.” Thus, it is imperative we ascertain the identity of this “restrainer” so we might better understand what this scripture is telling us. Accordingly, we should observe that the personal pronoun “he” is used in reference to the “restrainer,” so evidently a human or Divine personage is involved. Additionally, since there is no obvious symbolism involved here, it is best to give this passage a consistent literal interpretation. Furthermore, we should bear in mind that it is the power of the Holy Spirit who restrains or limits the power of Satan and his minions, not the “church” of believers. Although the Bible admonishes us to be “salt” and “light” to our society and culture, and we have power and authority over Satan through the name of Jesus, that is not the same thing as actually controlling Satan, externally, on a global basis. Therefore, the collective weight of all the scriptural evidence indicates convincingly that the “restrainer” in this passage is the Holy Spirit. Even though the Bible states that this “restraining” influence will cease at the time of the Rapture, please note it is only said that the Restrainer is taken out of the way, not necessarily out of the world as well. This is actually a critical observation because the Holy Spirit will continue to draw people to Christ during the Great Tribulation which will ensue immediately after the Rapture occurs.
It is stated that the Antichrist will actually sit in the rebuilt Jewish temple in Jerusalem and declare himself to be “God.” However, this does not mean he will try to pass himself off as the personal, infinite, triune God of the Christian Bible, but only as a god of the New Age variety. (The letter “g” does not have to be capitalized in the Greek.) In fact, in this very same passage it is said that he “opposeth” everything that is associated with the true God in Heaven. Furthermore, not only will he oppose God immediately after the Rapture when he executes Christian believers for their faith in Christ, but even before the Rapture, he will advocate his own version of morality and spirituality as confirmed in a number of passages.
Daniel 7:25 gives us additional insight: “And he (the Antichrist) shall speak great words against the most High.... and think to change times and laws...” In other words, Antichrist will speak boldly and defiantly against the true God of biblical Christianity while advocating his own standard of morals and values for society. No decent standard or sensible norm will be safe from attack or immune to criticism. Accordingly, from the very outset, there will never be any pretense on his part about feeling sympathetic towards Israel or Jews or Bible-believing Christians, nor will he ever pretend to be the Jewish Messiah as some people suppose — especially since Israel will be one of the very first countries which he will attack when he first rises to power. (Dan. 8:9). Instead, he will begin soon after his initial appearance to criticize and defy traditional Christian beliefs and moral values and cultural conventions, and then immediately after the Rapture, will even kill anyone who proclaims their faith in Christ. Later, he will also violate the sanctity of the sacred Holy of Holies room in a rebuilt Jewish Temple while proclaiming himself to be the god of gods.
I John 4:3
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (KJV)
II John 1:7
7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (KJV)
I John 2:18, 22
18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. (KJV)
In the above scriptural passages, not only are we told that a specific, unique personage called “antichrist” will appear some day, but we are also informed that since the inception of Christianity, there always have been people who have denied that the historic Jesus Christ is God manifested in the flesh. Or as noted in I John 2:22, that both God the Father and God the Son are the true God in Heaven. Thus, these people, too, are “little” antichrists in a manner of speaking. So, while we are warned against the heresy these people teach, we are also given further insight as to exactly what the Antichrist will advocate, and how the Bible itself actually defines the word “antichrist.”
Because Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines the prefix “anti” as meaning “one that is opposed,” this indicates that the Antichrist will be opposed (to the true God in Heaven). Moreover, as noted in the paragraph above while commenting on I John 2:22, the Bible says that the Antichrist will deny the true God in Heaven, i.e., the personal, infinite, triune God of biblical Christianity. So, obviously this scriptural prediction is completely consistent with Daniel when he says in Daniel 7:25 that the Antichrist “shall speak great words against the most High,” and in Daniel 11:36-37 where he states that the Antichrist will “magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods... nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.” This then is how we should define the word “antichrist” because that is how the Bible defines it.
That is why it is wrong to think that the Antichrist will ever pretend to be the Jewish Messiah — even when he first appears to rescue the world from the threat of terror and destruction and war. Instead, the Antichrist will deny both God the Father and God the Son while proclaiming himself to be a god above all other gods. Therefore, it may not be a coincidence that the popular New Age Movement teaches that we can achieve godhood and extraordinary powers of the mind through “higher consciousness” techniques or through “Christ consciousness.” For that reason, the impressive historical evidence proving the true identity of Jesus is ignored by these people and their followers, and He is relegated to the status of just another ordinary psychic seer.
And out of one of them came forth a little horn (Antichrist), which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land (Palestine; Israel). (KJV)
This biblical passage portrays the “little horn” Antichrist originating from one of the four major divisions of the ancient Grecian Empire which emerged soon after the unexpected death of Alexander the Great. Then the little horn, representing both a tiny, new country and the personage of Antichrist, waxes “exceeding great” very quickly as he conquers countries in a southern and eastern direction. Please note that the “pleasant land” (i.e., Israel; Palestine; Daniel 11:16, 41; Ezek. 20:6, 15; Psalms 106:24; Jer. 3:19; Zech. 7:14) is mentioned specifically as one of the very first countries attacked by Antichrist during his initial rise to power, thereby precluding any reasonable possibility that he might pretend to be the Messiah to the Jews. The fact that the scriptural evidence also indicates Antichrist will originate from the country of Lebanon, and not from Israel, decreases that possibility even more so.
Later, in this same passage of scripture, Daniel elaborates on the above prophecy in verse 9:
Daniel 8:23, 24
And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully... (KJV)
It is when the communists “are come to the full” that “a king of fierce countenance... shall stand up.” This fierce-looking man, the Antichrist, will be a “king,” i.e., a political leader, and an aggressive military genius who will understand “dark sentences” that will infuse him with amazing occult power. Then with that power, the Bible predicts he will destroy his enemies with astounding ease! Nothing will seem too difficult for this extraordinary man to achieve! Although the “church-world” and many “religious leaders” will seem dazed and confused while fumbling around for plausible explanations, the Antichrist will appear to have the answers! During a period of crisis and fear and confusion, he will mesmerize the whole world with his incredible military feats and miraculous occult power and enchanting oratory.
“And he shall destroy wonderfully.” (Dan. 8:24). Thanks to modern science and technology, mankind now possesses a multitude of amazing high-tech weapons and nuclear bombs. So, it most certainly makes sense that the Antichrist — from a very small country with a small army — would require supernatural occult power in order to achieve what the Bible predicts he will accomplish. This is made even more apparent in Young’s Literal Translation: “And wonderful things he destroyeth.” Thus, this scripture predicts that the Antichrist will rise up suddenly and demolish the modern, high-tech weaponry which will be arrayed against him. Moreover, further clarification becomes evident in an analysis of the word “destroy” because it is translated from the Hebrew word SHACHATH, which is defined as meaning “to ruin.” So, we must conclude that it will be a most startling and remarkable demonstration of satanic occult power.
Other than from Satan, where could a man obtain this fantastic power and ability? That is precisely what Daniel was predicting in the scriptural phrases “understanding dark sentences” and “his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power.” Such amazing occult power will be satanic-inspired as the apostle Paul likewise explains in the following scriptural passage: “Even him, whose coming (i.e., initial ascendancy to power) is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” (II Thess. 2:9). This view is further corroborated in the book of Revelation where it is said that the whole world, immediately after the Rapture, will understand that Satan is the source of power for the miraculous occult abilities of the Antichrist after he is “revealed.” (Rev. 13:4).
36 And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain. (KJV)
“Neither shall he regard... the desire of women... for he shall magnify himself above all.” Not only will the Antichrist magnify himself above every god, but apparently he will also lack interest and desire in the beauty and sexual attractiveness of women because “he shall magnify himself above all.” This does not necessarily mean, however, that he will not be married. Instead, it may indicate he will be obsessed by his extraordinary supernatural occult power and abilities, and by his agenda for political power and military conquests and spiritual deception. That is why there is no reason to believe he will be a homosexual as some have speculated; he will be too preoccupied with himself and his objectives to concern himself with sexual desires that would consume much of his time and energy.
An interesting alternative rendering of this scriptural phrase in verse 37 is found in the Amplified Bible: “He shall not regard the gods of his fathers or Him [to whom] women desire [to give birth — the Messiah] nor any other god, for he shall magnify himself above all.” Because the promised Messiah was the one to whom all young Jewish women desired to give birth, He was the “desire of women.” Accordingly, verse 37 could be interpreted to say: “He will not regard the God of his ancestors, nor will he regard Messiah God of Israel, nor will he regard any god.” Likewise, the preceding verse, i.e., verse 36, also predicts that Antichrist will speak against the God of gods, i.e., the true God of biblical Christianity. Then in similar fashion, verse 38 states that when the Antichrist is “in his estate,” meaning after the pre-tribulation Rapture when he will be fatally wounded and incarnated by Satan, that is when he will acknowledge Satan, the god of forces, as his true source of power. (See Rev. 13:4). Thus, the proposed translation of verse 37 would reinforce verse 36 and other passages that indicate the Antichrist will never pretend to be the Jewish Messiah, even before the Rapture occurs, because he will blaspheme the true God while exalting himself above all other gods.
But, even though the alternative translation for this scriptural phrase makes it more consistent with the theme of the phrases adjacent to it, we must question if it is truly the intended meaning. For instance, using the phrase “desire of women” is an obtuse way to say “Messiah.” Also, based on Strong’s Hebrew-Greek Dictionary, the precise literal translation of the original words would be the phrase, “nor desire women.” Other words in this passage, such as “the” and “of,” are words that were added by the translators in an effort to clarify the intended meaning. Furthermore, Young's Literal Translation matches the KJV closely, and I generally prefer the YLT and KJV Bibles for two basic reasons. First, their translators were less intentional about allowing their personal theology to influence their translation efforts, and second, they are based upon more reliable ancient manuscripts.
“And the king shall do according to his will.” Daniel describes the Antichrist as “exceeding great” (Dan. 8:9), while Alexander the Great is given a description that denotes a lower magnitude of greatness; he is described as simply “very great” (Daniel 8:8). Therefore, it is reasonable to infer that the military feats accomplished by the Antichrist will be amazing even when they are compared to the swift military conquests waged by Alexander the Great. Other scriptures also testify to the incredible military conquests achieved by the Antichrist. Thus, since Alexander the Great conquered his enemies with lightning speed, so likewise will the Antichrist. Nothing will be able to stop him or thwart his will. As John noted: “Who is able to make war with him?” In fact, the military conquests of the Antichrist, during his initial rise to power, will be so spectacular and astounding that he will be universally acclaimed as an invincible war genius, and most people will even believe him when he proclaims himself to be a god!
“The king shall do according to his will.” From the very beginning, the Antichrist will boldly and unabashedly defy God by doing whatever he chooses to do according to his personal values and passions. Moreover, Daniel 7:25 states that the Antichrist “shall speak great words against the most High.... and think to change times and laws.” Thus, the Antichrist will boldly defy and blaspheme the true God in Heaven even as he encourages defiance and rebellion against traditional cultural conventions and norms and moral values. Likewise, Daniel 7:8 predicts that the Antichrist will “speak great things” from the outset when he first begins his spectacular rise to power. As further corroboration, Daniel 8:25 predicts that the Antichrist will “magnify himself in his heart,” while Daniel 11:36-37 also prophesies he will “exalt” and “magnify” himself “above every god” and “above all” — descriptions which are reminiscent of the self-deification delusion that snared Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Thus, he will “magnify himself above every god,” and will be so bold and defiant as to “speak marvellous things against the God of gods.” Obviously these statements seem to imply that the Antichrist, indeed, will advocate “god-hood” for everyone — just as the New Agers teach.
“And shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished.” The Hebrew word for “indignation” is ZAAM, meaning “rage; fury, especially, God’s displeasure at sin.” Therefore, this scriptural passage evidently predicts that the Antichrist will “prosper” in his plans to deceive people before the Rapture by inspiring world peace and prosperity. Then later, after the Rapture, he will continue to “prosper” by waging “war” against Christian believers for three and one-half years of Great Tribulation. But then after that, the Day of God’s Wrath will begin, and the Antichrist will no longer “prosper” in his plans because God’s “indignation” and judgment will be unleashed in the form of Trumpet-Vial plagues before culminating in His Return at the Battle of Armageddon.
“Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers.” A reference to the personal, infinite, triune God of the Christian Bible is not necessarily intended here in this passage because the letter “G” is not capitalized in the word “God” in the original language. Here is how Strong’s Hebrew-Greek Dictionary defines the word “God”:
430 ‘elohiym (el-o-heem’);
plural of 433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative:
KJV— angels, X exceeding, God (gods)- dess, -ly), X (very) great, judges, X mighty.
So, the word “God” actually can be translated as “gods in the ordinary sense,” or it can be rendered as “the supreme God.” However, we should note also that the article “the” was added arbitrarily by the KJV translators because they jumped to the same conclusion everyone else did — so the presence of the article “the” does not lend any support to the theory that this word must refer to the true God of biblical Christianity. Accordingly, it is erroneous to assume this scriptural phrase necessarily refers to the Jewish fathers of the Antichrist in an attempt to prove the Antichrist will pretend to be the Jewish Messiah. Besides, it could just as easily refer to the Islamic supreme god, Allah, if the Antichrist proves to be a Moslem or Druze Moslem. Instead, this passage means precisely what it actually says, i.e., he will ignore the religion of his ancestors by simply declining to honor or worship the god whom his ancestors worshipped, whomever that may be. Corroboration on this point is provided in this very same passage of scripture when it continues by saying that neither will he “regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all” BEFORE the Rapture, but that AFTER the Rapture, he will modify his religious stance by publicly honoring the “god of forces” who is none other than Satan himself:
4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? (KJV)
The Antichrist will proclaim himself to be a god, but it will be as a “new-age” style of god. That is why he will magnify himself above every other god BEFORE the Rapture when the world will be astounded by his miraculous mind powers and military genius. But AFTER the Rapture, when he is “revealed” to the world and everyone will know that his power is from Satan, he will curse and blaspheme the true God in Heaven while publicly honoring the “god of forces.” Likewise, it is essential to our understanding on this matter to remember that he will invade Israel in his initial rise-to-power, many years before the pre-tribulation Rapture occurs. Therefore, without a doubt, all of these things indicate there will be no pretense on his part at being the Jewish Messiah.
“He shall honour the god of forces.” Initially, New Age thinking may very well ascribe the incredible supernatural occult power of the Antichrist to the “universal spirit” or the “cosmic consciousness” of the universe. But, those who are wise will understand that it is Satan who is the actual source of such miraculous occult abilities, not some “universal power” achieved through “higher consciousness” or a “sudden, dramatic leap in evolution.” However, immediately after the pre-tribulation Rapture occurs, everyone in the world will understand clearly that Satan is the real reason for the incredible power and abilities of Antichrist. (Rev. 13:2, 4) (Dan. 11:39) (Hab. 1:11). Moreover, that is precisely what II Thessalonians 2:3-12 alludes to when it states that the Antichrist will be “revealed” (Greek APOKALUPTO; disclosed, uncovered, revealed), immediately after the Rapture, when the Holy Spirit will be “taken out of the way” (but not out of the world), and a mortally-wounded Antichrist will become possessed and incarnated by Satan himself (Rev. 13:2-4). So, in other words, we will see the “coming” of the Antichrist when he first appears on the world scene as a man endowed with satanic supernatural power. But, we (as Christians) will not see him “revealed” as Satan incarnate because that satanic union will not happen until immediately after the pre-tribulation Rapture takes place.
These astounding developments will not mean, however, that most people will believe Satan is evil — even after the Rapture when the whole world will worship both Satan and Antichrist (Rev. 13:2-7). Instead, they probably will think — as many people, reportedly, believe already — that Satan is a “good angel” who goes by the name of Lucifer, and that he is a morally good and benevolent creature. Especially since he will have been responsible for creating world peace and prosperity, before the Rapture, through his human surrogate, the Antichrist. But on the other hand, God will be blamed for destroying that world peace and prosperity when He begins to unleash horrific plagues and judgments upon the earth. That explains why Revelation states in several different passages that AFTER the Great Tribulation — during the Great and Terrible Day Of The Lord — people on earth will curse God while refusing to repent of their sins.
“Shall honor the god of forces.” According to Strong’s Hebrew-Greek Dictionary and the late Rev. Alexander Hislop, author of the classic, The Two Babylons, a more accurate translation of the word “forces” would be the word “fortifications.” Therefore, this scriptural phrase may be an allusion to the great rebel Nimrod, who (as documented by Hislop; pp. 30-55) can be described as “the god of fortifications.” So, apparently the Antichrist will be a modern-day version of Nimrod, who was viewed in his days as an extraordinary benefactor of humanity because he taught people how to protect themselves from the wild animals by building walls around their cities, and because he was a mighty hunter of these wild animals who were threatening to overrun the earth. But, after giving people the benefits and blessings of safety and security, he used his prestige to persuade people to rebel against God, thus beginning the great Babylonian apostasy.
Sometimes it is said John 5:43 proves that the Antichrist will pretend to be the Jewish Messiah:
43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. (KJV)
However, Jesus simply was saying that many of the people listening in His audience were so hardheaded and unreceptive they would not receive Him despite the impressive Godly evidence of His ministry. Yet, on the other hand, they were so foolish they would believe some ordinary man and accept him as their Messiah without any sign of Godly inspiration as proof of his identity. Which is precisely what they did some years later, causing many Jews to suffer at the hands of the Romans.
Furthermore, please note that Jesus did not say “when” another man comes along in his own name, thus implying the absolute necessity for this event to happen. Instead, He said “if” this happens, clearly implying that it might or might not happen — an acknowledgement that people have a God-given right to freedom and freewill. But, since this word “if” carries the element of doubt and uncertainty with it, this passage can not possibly be a reference to Antichrist because numerous Old Testament prophecies had already been given by God predicting Antichrist would appear at the endtimes. This view, concerning the word “if,” is confirmed by Strong’s Hebrew-Greek Dictionary:
1437 ean (eh-an’);
from 1487 and 302; a conditional particle; in case that, provided, etc.; often used in connection with other particles to denote indefiniteness or uncertainty:
KJV— before, but, except, (and) if, (if) so, (what-, whither-) soever, though, when (-soever), whether (or), to whom, [who-] so (-ever).
The Antichrist will also appeal to the baser instincts and propensities of people by promoting immoral sexuality, idolatry, sorceries and drugs:
Revelation 18:23, 24
23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. (KJV)
Revelation 9:20, 21
20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. (KJV)
Thus, the Bible predicts that occultism, sorceries, witchcraft and drugs will become quite prevalent throughout modern society during the years preceding Armageddon. The word “sorceries” was used in scriptures such as Revelation 9:21 to foretell this extraordinary development because the word “sorceries” comes from the Greek word PHARMAKEIA, which means occult worship or black magic associated with the usage of drugs. Not surprisingly, books and movies such as the Harry Potter series have already played a very vital and pivotal role in popularizing elementary forms of sorcery and witchcraft and magical incantations by misrepresenting them as benign and harmless forms of fantasy entertainment. Moreover, according to the biblical scriptures above, huge numbers of people will not be able to resist the lure of mysterious occult and magic powers in the years ahead.
Isaiah 2:10, 12, 17-21
10 Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty....
12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low....
17 And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
18 And the idols he shall utterly abolish.
19 And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
20 In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;
21 To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. (KJV)
1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.
2 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.
3 And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth. (KJV)
5 As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it.
6 Turn ye unto him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted.
7 For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin. (KJV) (Compare: Isa. 19:1-3; Isa. 47:9-12; Micah 5:10-15.)
The word “sorceries” in its modern cultural context would include any technique that attempts to shape or change or manipulate reality through any kind of “mind power” or mental powers. Examples would include elementary forms of sorcery and witchcraft such as certain types of “positive thinking” and “visualization” and “guided imagery,” and so on — none of which should be confused with benign, healthy traits such as maintaining a positive mental attitude towards life or exercising creative, conceptual abilities of the intellect. Furthermore, whenever a person blanks out all rational thought from their mind through Eastern-style meditation techniques, or hypnosis, or even some types of psychotherapy, they are leaving themselves open and vulnerable to demonic, satanic attacks. So, generally-speaking, people do not possess special magic or supernatural powers of the mind unless they are aided by evil demonic forces.
Sometimes people argue for the blending or syncretism of Christianity with psychotherapy on the basis that “all truth is God’s truth.” However, psychotherapy differs from true sciences such as physics and chemistry in that there is no general consensus on general principles. In fact, there are hundreds of competing theories and therapies that often contradict each other. But, it is true that psychology is a science to the extent that it observes human nature, develops theories of learning, etc.. The only conflict comes when psychology leaves its proper domain and tries to offer advice on the moral and spiritual problems of life in contradistinction to the biblical Scriptures. Furthermore, most psychological therapies generally are full of humanistic assumptions and presuppositions which frequently tend to make it very difficult, if not almost impossible, to distinguish truth from error. The practical effect in at least most cases, I suspect, is the inevitable blending of Christian and humanistic concepts to one degree or another.
Others argue that since we supplement our knowledge of the Bible with dictionaries, commentaries, historical records, etc., then we should also be willing to supplement biblical counseling with psychological counseling. But it is one thing to supplement our knowledge of the Bible with various objective truths gleaned from non-biblical sources; an entirely different matter to embrace unproven theories concerning man’s spiritual and moral nature that are contradictory to what the Bible teaches. (See: II Peter 1:3-10; John 8:31-32; II Tim. 3:16-17; II Cor. 12:9-10; Phil. 3:13-14; 4:5-13; Ps. 46:1-2; Col. 3; I Cor. 2:16; Gal. 5:22-24.)
The apostle Paul also predicts that every form of sin and evil will become increasingly rampant and pervasive throughout society during the “last days,” and that most people generally will believe whatever they wish to believe rather than believe Truth. (II Tim. 3:1-4:4) (II Thess. 2:9-12) (I Tim. 4:1-10). We should observe, also, that the expression, “last days,” actually can refer to either all of the time-period between the First and Second Comings of Christ (Heb.1:1) (Acts 2:16-18) (I John 2:18) (I Tim. 4:1-10), or it can simply refer to the years immediately prior to the Second Coming (II Peter 3:3-4). However, II Timothy 3:13 makes it quite clear that “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” Hence the conclusion that evil and deceit will reach their ultimate degree of fulfillment during the “last days” or “time of the end” immediately before the Return of Christ. So, we will not witness an incredible Christian revival and spiritual renewal that will result in “Christianity” dominating, or even taking over, all of society on both the spiritual and political/economic levels as some people claim. Instead, all of the prophetic biblical scriptures we have surveyed predict nothing but increasing levels of evil and deceit and apostasy and sorceries. As the apostle Paul said, there will be a final “falling away” from the Truth when “some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy...” God has given humanity the gift of freedom and free will, and the Bible predicts that most people will exercise that free will by choosing to be evil and rebellious during the “time of the end.” Moreover, it will have nothing to do with the omnipotence and sovereignty of God, or the lack thereof; those contentions are nothing but fallacious arguments thrown out as red herrings by misguided individuals who have the wrong priorities in life, and who are not heeding the words of Holy Scripture.
I Timothy 4:1-10
1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth....
7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.... (KJV)
II Timothy 3:1-17
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith....
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived....
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (KJV)
II Timothy 4:2-4
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (KJV)
The Bible gives us yet another scriptural reason as to why there will be a final great apostasy just prior to the Rapture. Although we will develop this theme more fully in chapter six of this book, Revelation 12 essentially entails a considerable amount of symbolism in which we observe a pregnant, sun-clad woman standing on the moon, wearing a crown of twelve stars upon her head, and travailing in great agony due to the imminent birth of her man-child. Accordingly, as we will prove later, the sun-clad woman represents the visible church of Christ who will suffer great spiritual pain immediately before the man-child Christians are Raptured up to Heaven. Since we are dealing with symbolic spiritual matters in this instance, it is apparent that this travailing experience must symbolize the spiritual tribulation or final great apostasy which the true church will endure just before the Rapture occurs.
However, let me hasten to emphasize clearly that this final great apostasy will not be the Great Tribulation. The Great Tribulation will happen only after the Rapture of the true church has taken place, and it will be characterized by precisely 3˝ years of mass executions of (newly-converted) Christian believers who will not take the mark of the beast. Before the Rapture, the Bible states repeatedly that the Antichrist will destroy (deceive) people through miracles and peace and prosperity, not physical torture and executions. Therefore, the persecution and testing of Christians, before the pre-trib Rapture, generally will be only spiritual and deceptive in nature. But after the Rapture, it will become physical and brutal, and it will be marked by mass executions by the Antichrist even though just as much deception will continue as before.
Sometimes it is taught that a spiritual “latter rain” during the endtimes will spark a great Christian revival among people. (Joel 2:23-24) (Jer. 5:24) (Hosea 6:3) (Zech. 10:1) (James 5:7). Although this is true, it will not happen before the Rapture because that period of time will be marked only by deception and apostasy! Instead, it will occur after the Rapture, during the Great Tribulation, when mass numbers of people will become saved through Christ Jesus at a time when many people will experience special dreams and visions and will even prophesy. (Rev. 6:12-17) (Joel 2:28-31) (Acts 2:16-21).
“A great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.” The incredible seven-headed dragon portrayed in Revelation 12 represents Satan, as confirmed very clearly in verse 9. This symbolic dragon is analogous to the seven-headed beasts which are portrayed in both Revelation 13 and 17 — with some important differences. Thus, the symbolic seven-headed dragon represents Satan in order to exhibit certain characteristics of Satan, but the seven-headed beast in Revelation 17 also symbolizes Satan in order to facilitate the display of other actions and/or attributes. However, the seven-headed, leopard-like beast in Revelation 13 is used to represent the Antichrist while also reflecting the presence and/or influence of Satan within him. In all of these symbolic images, however, the seven heads represent the seven major biblical world empires which Satan uses to oppress Israel at one time or another down throughout history. Likewise, whereas the seven-headed dragon is wearing crowns on all seven of its heads, in Revelation 13 the seven-headed, leopard-like beast is wearing crowns on just the ten horns of the seventh symbolic (empire) head. By comparison, the seven-headed beast in Revelation 17 is not wearing any crowns on its seven heads and ten horns.
Moreover, Revelation 17:12 indicates that the ten horns are crowned on the seven-headed, leopard-like beast (in Revelation 13) because both Antichrist and the ten-horn kings will have power and authority at that point in time. But in Revelation 17, the ten-horn kings and the seven-headed beast (representing Satan, and in this instance, his influence and/or presence within the Antichrist) were not yet empowered at the time that John was given the Revelation. This helps to explain why, in Revelation 17, John said that the seven mountains or heads of the beast represent “seven kings: five are fallen, and one is and the other is not yet come, and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.” (Rev. 17:10). Similarly, in Revelation 17:8, a parallel description puts it this way: “The beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”
Obviously the above scriptural statements correlate perfectly with the recorded history of the seven biblical world empires! At the time John wrote Revelation, five of the seven world empires (i.e., Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece) were history, thereby matching the phrase: “Five are fallen.” Rome was the existent empire at the time of John’s prophetic revelation, hence the scriptural phrase: “And one is.” Likewise, the empire of Antichrist was a future development then, even as it remains so now as these words are being written, thereby matching the scriptural phrase which reads as follows: “The other is not yet come, and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.”
Moreover, as we will demonstrate later during our analysis of Revelation, chapters 4-11 in Revelation narrate a series of post-Rapture events which are parallel in time to the post-Rapture events described in Revelation 12-16. Thus, both prophetic accounts begin with the pre-tribulation Rapture, then correlate with each other through a long series of apocalyptic events, then culminate with the Battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ. Furthermore, it is important to note that all of the events portrayed in Revelation 4-11 occur in a numbered chronological sequence, making it easy to determine the time relationships between the various events in both parallel accounts. Since all seven heads of the dragon are crowned in Revelation 12 at the very outset, this means that all seven world empires will have already been crowned with power and authority by the time the “manchild Christians” are Raptured to Heaven. In other words, all seven biblical world empires must exist at one time or another before the pre-trib Rapture takes place. But, since the seventh biblical world empire will be the empire of Antichrist, his empire obviously will have to be in existence before the Rapture occurs. Which means, of course, that the Antichrist will appear before the pre-tribulation Rapture occurs in order to inspire the final great apostasy!
To read the complete text of The Ultimate Deception, please click on the following order button:
Copyright © 1996-2005
Frank L. Caw, Jr.
The Ultimate Deception