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Chapter 18

The Final Fate of the Antichrist


WE have noted that the nations of Europe will finally turn upon the Papacy with great ferocity (Revelation 17:16); however, before that event occurs, Scripture states that the nations of the world will cry, "Peace and safety." (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

Cries of peace are already being heard. These cries are based upon two diplomatic negotiations in Rome and Moscow.

The pope’s vision of a unified Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals and Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev’s notion of a "common European house" had, until recently, only geography in common. Yet the more the Soviet leader introduces changes in his country and reorients Soviet foreign policy, the closer they grow. (Singapore Straits Times, March 13 1990)

It is the Vatican which is largely orchestrating those changes in Soviet foreign policy.

The word in Rome is that, during the meetings with Mr. Gorbachev in December, the pope noted that there had not been bloodshed in the Baltic Republic [Lithuania], the Ukraine, or other Soviet regions where there is a strong Roman Catholic presence. This was in striking contrast to what was happening in mostly Muslim Azerbaijan. The message to the Soviet leader seemed to be that Mr. Gorbachev could survive the secession of the Baltic states and even periodic trouble in Central Asia. But if turmoil erupted in the important, populous Ukraine, he could not survive. Because of the large Catholic population there, the Vatican could provide invaluable help in keeping spirits calm. The pope said, after Mr. Gorbachev’s visit, that he would pray for the Soviet leader. Mr. Gorbachev said that he had asked for the pope’s spiritual contribution. The design is one of vast proportions. For Mr. Gorbachev, it would mean substantial help in keeping order and stability in the sensitive regions of his country where there are large numbers of Catholics. For the pope, it would mean gaining religious freedom in the Soviet Union. (Straits Times, March 13 1990)

Past indications are that promises made by the Vatican are valid only so long as they meet Vatican political needs. When expedient to do so, the Vatican regards its assurances as ropes of sand broken with ease; thus Gorbachev, in accepting John Paul II’s promise to keep Roman Catholics in the Ukraine calm, would be a naive student of Vatican political policy if he expected an indefinite tenure to that promise.

If Lithuanian independence is firmly established and recognized by the world community of nations, it would not be beyond Vatican treachery for it to encourage similar ambitions in the Ukraine. Already, mild calls for such independence are abroad.

The Ukrainian nationalist party, Rukh, buoyed by fresh election victories after just six months in existence, has pledged to follow the example of the Baltic states and push for independence. (Bangkok Nation, March 22 1990)

Fortunately for the U.S.S.R., the Rukh Party obtained only 30 percent of the seats in the first multiparty election; thus, at the present, it does not possess the political muscle to implement its agenda.

Mr. Odarich, the leader of the Rukh Party, has made an ominous prediction:

Against little Lithuania, he [Gorbachev] could still find a pretext to send in troops. But, against the Ukrainian people, this is impossible. (Ibid.)

The devout student of prophecy will watch the events in the U.S.S.R. with great interest as they evolve, particularly the interplay between the Kremlin and the Vatican.

While all three Baltic republics—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—crave their pre-1940 independence, it is quite significant that Lithuania, with its more than 80 percent Roman Catholic population, was the first to declare its independence. The other two have cautiously followed. This turn of events did not provide a simple solution for Gorbachev. Military intervention was hardly a viable option because of the delicate Vatican relations at stake. On the other hand, doing nothing would have been an invitation for other republics to follow the same example. Gorbachev chose the less dangerous option of economic boycott—a warning to other Soviet republics; yet this option is less threatening to developing relations with the Vatican.

Significantly, on March 15 1990, the Vatican and the U.S.S.R. exchanged ambassadors for the first time in over seventy years.

We can rest assured that it is not religious freedom that the Vatican seeks for the U.S.S.R. Prophecy predicts that papal dominance will be achieved in the U.S.S.R. and throughout Europe, but only for a "short space." As the iron curtain totally crumbles and becomes only a matter of historical interest, the cries of peace are perfectly understandable Troops and armaments in Europe have been increasingly cut back; nevertheless, the same divine voice declared that there would be a swift end to peace.

For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

This scene depicts the cataclysmic end to the powers of this earth, when God’s hand is felt in the affairs of men. The nations of the world have followed, for too long, the policies of expediency instead of righteousness. The final support of the antichrist power (in Europe, America, and the whole world) is the final affront to a pure and holy God.

In a few brief verses, the prophet Daniel saw the scenario which we have portrayed. A little background detail is necessary. At the death of Alexander the Great, his kingdom was divided into four parts by his four powerful generals. Lysimachus became the king of the North; Ptolemy became the king of the South; Cassander accepted the throne of the Western territories; and Seleucus, the Eastern.

Daniel used the terms, king of the North and king of the South, to depict the principal powers involved in the last-day events which have been discussed in this book. We know that they are last-day events because Daniel places them "at the time of the end." (Daniel 11:40) Let us read this fascinating prophecy:

And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him [the king of the north]: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. (Daniel 11:40)

Two victories are recorded here. First, the king of the South at the time of the end "pushes at" the king of the North. Second, the king of the North eventually gets his revenge, and destroys the king of the South with great alacrity ("like a whirlwind"). The present-day kings of the South and the North, as symbolized, are not geographical entities; instead, they are political entities possessing characteristics of the two former kingdoms.

This fact is easily illustrated in examination of the king of the South. The original king of the South incorporated the territory of Egypt. No ancient kingdom blasphemed the name of God more than did this land. Pharaoh retorted when Moses and Aaron sought the release of the Israelites from Egypt:

And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go. (Exodus 5:2)

Egypt symbolized atheism, and was a fitting symbol of its political entity—communism. Another beast, the beast of Revelation 11, was appropriately represented by Sodom and Egypt (Revelation 11:8), two areas over which the king of the South ruled. This beast is the least noticed in the book of Revelation; yet it is a powerful symbol of the atheism that commenced at the time of the French Revolution.

It is advantageous to spend a brief moment examining this beast because it clarifies a number of things about the king of the south. In Revelation, chapter 11, God’s two witnesses—the Old and the New Testaments—are mentioned. The zealous effort to destroy these witnesses during the era of papal dominance is outlined. But with the coming of the sixteenth-century Reformation, the power of those witnesses is seen.

And when they [the Old and the New Testaments] shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. (Revelation 11:7)

This passage refers to the banning of the Scriptures in Paris and throughout France during the French Revolution. At that time, thousands of copies of the Holy Bible were cast into the bonfires.

And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. (Revelation 11:8)

It all started in Poland, say close advisers to the pope. One can hardly deny it, adds Adam Bonlecki [a priest], editor of the Polish edition of Osservatore Romano. During Karol Wojtyla’s first trip to Poland as Pope John Paul II, in 1979, the streets were filled with millions of people. He sent a clear message to the crowds, "Liberate yourselves from fear; it is the only tool the regime can use against you." That was the beginning of the great events that unfolded in the following years, says Bishop Szczepan Wesoly, who accompanied the pope. For the first time, the people realized the extent of their potential strength. A year later, during the strikes at the Lenin Shipyards, in Gdansk, huge portraits of the pope were everywhere, a new and incredible thing in a communist country—the snowball that became an avalanche. And now Vatican diplomats, some of the world’s most effective, are on the move. (Singapore Straits Times, March 13 1990)

God’s Word has certainly been fulfilled, because the Papacy has overflowed and surpassed the strength of communism. And this has taken place as we have looked on.

The ascendancy of the Papacy, with its period of terrible persecution, will be mercifully short-lived.

The ten horns [nations of Europe] which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. (Revelation 17:16)

Daniel, too, predicts the same fate for the Papacy, but uses different words. Daniel declares that the king of the North "shall come to his end, and none shall help him." (Daniel 11:45)

The antichrist will finally be abhorred by all the nations which supported her in the time of her ascendancy. But it will be forever too late for those who supported the Papacy when it was a popular movement. These people heeded man’s dictates instead of responding to the pleas of a loving God. Today is the moment to make our calling and election sure. It will be forever too late for those who await the destruction of the Papacy before they turn to God. Let us always cherish God’s promise to us:

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)


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