Profile of the Antichrist
Some have confused the rider of the white horse in verse two with Jesus, but the rider is actually the Antichrist.
For following the appearing of the rider is not a kingdom of righteousness, but a time of wickedness and sorrow. Masquerading as the true Messiah, he wears a crown, while Jesus wears many crowns (Revelation 19:12). In the Greek translation, the crown worn by the rider of the white horse refers to the crown of victory worn by a conqueror. The crowns Jesus wears in Revelation 19 refer to crowns of royalty.
A conqueror bent on conquest
When a victor triumphantly entered a newly conquered kingdom, he would invariably ride a white horse. The Antichrist will deceitfully establish himself, and then show his true colors.
This coming world leader, the Antichrist, will come at an economically difficult time. There will be war in different parts of the world, and he—through brilliant political moves along with an incredible charisma—will be able to do what no one else has ever done: bring economic stability to the world’s monetary system and bring world peace. By establishing this peace, he will deceive many. He will even convince the Jewish nation and the Arab nations to sign a peace treaty, paving the way for the long-awaited third temple.
His accomplishments will be so spectacular, so far-reaching and unprecedented, that many will hail him as the Messiah. But we are warned in Scripture that he is a deceiver.
The man of sin
The Antichrist will be history’s vilest embodiment of sin and rebellion: “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that Day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness [sin] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction” (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
The wicked one
“And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the brightness of His coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:8).
Lawless can be translated “wicked.” The Antichrist totally opposes every law of God. Halfway into his power play he will show his true colors, rebuilding the temple and committing the abomination of desolation (Daniel 12:11; Matthew 24:15). He will show himself to be a blood-thirsty dictator who will make Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Saddam Hussein look like lightweights in comparison.
Dictators rarely take over nations by brute force. Political or economic problems almost always pave the way for tyranny. This has already proven true in history. Rome set the precedent, seeking out nations who were in political and economic turmoil. They came with seeming benevolence, only to turn to tyrannical suppression and demand worship of Caesar.
Adolph Hitler did the same. In 1930, Germany was in desperate financial straits. Inflation was so bad, that literally thousands of people were starving. Communists stirred up riots in the streets, and there was general chaos.
Then Adolph Hitler came on the scene—a voice of authority in the midst of chaos. He spoke of a people of destiny and promised glories to come. But it was not meant to be.
Hitler was but a pale version of the Antichrist who will work through a revived Roman empire. He, like the Romans and Hitler, will bring political, military, and economic answers, and he will persecute Jews and Christians.
Satan’s unholy trinity
The Antichrist will not act alone. There will be a false prophet working with him. “Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Revelation 19:20).
Here we see Satan’s unholy trinity:
Satan, imitating God (and, for a short time, having the worship of people worldwide)
The Antichrist, masquerading as the Son
The false prophet, impersonating the Holy Spirit
The work of the Antichrist
The Antichrist will bring about a new religious system that will accommodate everyone.
We are currently in the midst of a cult explosion. Whether it be dianetics, EST, goddess worship, reincarnation, astrology, holistic healing, or any of a hundred other consciousness-raising techniques, the modern age is on a search for some mystical divine unity. The time is ripe for a world religion.
The Antichrist will harness the world’s economic system.
“He required everyone—great and small, rich and poor, slave and free—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name. Wisdom is needed to understand this. Let the one who has understanding solve the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666” (Revelation 13:16–18 NLT).
Modern technology and the last days
Before computers were such a vital part of our lives, it was hard to imagine how this prophecy could be enforced. In our generation, we have seen the developments of all the parts of the electronic system necessary for one person to wield total economic control: credit cards, debit cards, smart cards, ATM, etc. Now we have supercomputers that are so fast, they can perform thousands of operations on each person’s files in the world every second.
Satellites can link the whole world together instantly, receiving unbelievable amounts of data simultaneously. Fiber optics that service our homes and computers are able to carry thousands of conversations, video images, and data transfers at the same time. Our cell phones can do this wirelessly. The Internet links large and small businesses around the globe together instantly. In addition, we all have several numbers assigned to us (Social Security, driver’s license, etc.) that enable easy access to our records.
Modern technology has made it possible for the Antichrist to do what the Bible predicts: to literally control the right of individuals to buy and sell. For example, we can buy most of what we need by use of our debit or credit cards. Cards, however, can be lost.
This problem could be solved by inserting tiny electronic transponders (chip implants) somewhere in our body. (This has already been done with livestock and household pets). Thus, the stage is set for the mark of the beast.