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Eight Signs the “Man of Lawlessness” Is Near

by Bob Russell

     The Bible says those who follow Christ are to encourage one another “…and all the more as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). Although no one knows the exact timing of “… the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him” (2 Thessalonians 2:1), Christians should be wise enough to sense when that day is drawing very near.

  The second chapter of 2 Thessalonians warns that after the church is gathered to Christ, a “man of lawlessness” will be catapulted into worldwide influence and deceive a frightened world into following him. Daniel 9 refers to him as “the ruler who is to come,” 1 John 2 calls him “the antichrist,” and Revelation 13 describes him as “the beast coming out of the sea.”

     Based on my understanding of prophecy, I think Satan is currently working to lay a foundation for the Antichrist’s rapid ascension to power. While it is my own speculation, and not everyone would agree, I think it is the only way to make sense of the rapid escalation of evil in the world. Increasing signs should alert us to “…stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28). 

  1. The increase in violence and lawlessness. Brutal wars, mass shootings, terrorist attacks, mobs lootings stores in broad daylight, subway muggings, carjackings, and street violence seem like we are living in the days of Noah when “the earth was full of violence.” (Genesis 6:11 NET).

     Harvard Professor, Dr. Clayton Christensen, warned that democratic societies only work when their citizens share a commitment to virtue, “If you take away religion, you can’t hire enough police.” Yet many leaders have responded to the increase in violence by eliminating bail, emptying jails, and defunding the police. It appears we are quickly approaching a time for the “man of lawlessness” to emerge as the leader. 

  1. The aggressive promotion of a one-world government. “The whole world…followed the beast”(Revelation 13:3). The Bible hints that Satan will promise to establish peace through a godless, one-world government. Headlines today increasingly report on the globalization efforts of the United Nations, the Global Seven (G7), the World Economic Forum, the World Health Organization, and other globalists in their efforts to improve international regulatory cooperation, global collaboration for climate sustainability, global economic solutions, and global health initiatives. The Smithsonian Institute now features a “Futures” exhibit asking visitors, “When will wesee a single, global government?” In the late 1980s, President H.W. Bush spoke repeatedly of a “New World Order.”  On March 19, 2022, President Biden remarked, “Now is the time when things are shifting, and there’s going to be a New World Order out there, and we’ve got to lead it. We’ve got to unite the rest of the free world in doing it.”
  2. The undermining of patriotism in the USA.  The biggest obstacle to global government has been the United States of America. Traditionally, the U.S. has always been patriotic and proud of its independence. So for the United States to willfully cooperate in global governance, patriotic allegiance must be severed.

     Therefore, it is no coincidence that school students are taught to despise America as a racist, materialistic, warmongering country. Traditional American heroes are denigrated as students are indoctrinated with the false idea that America’s prosperity is the result of white supremacy, which they suggest continues to be the greatest threat to our democracy.

 Sadly, many American pastors denounce patriotism and accuse patriotic believers of “Christian nationalism” – or worship of the United States. However, when these pastors honor mothers on Mother’s Day, are they worshipping mothers? Of course not. They are expressing appreciation for them. Likewise, singing “God Bless America” is not “worshipping the United States” but giving God thanks for the special gift of our free nation

     Yet continued efforts to erode U.S. allegiance are laying further groundwork to reduce our independence and accept the new world order

  1. The increasing concern about UFOs. Jesus warned that in the last days, “There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars…“ (Luke 21:25a).  Some suggest these terrestrial “signs” could be an increase in apparitions of spiritual beings. Gary Bates, CEO of Creation Ministries International, has spent years researching reports of UFOs and alien abductions and suggests these “aliens” were NOT beings from another planet but demons manifesting themselves in these last days. Bates interviewed 400 Christians who claimed similar interactions with alien beings. And when these believers called on Jesus to help them, the “aliens” disappeared.

     Some Christian scholars speculate these increased reports of alien sightings could become a basis for the antichrist to unite the world against a perceived otherworldly enemy. And, if Christians are raptured from the world prior to the tribulation, explaining away their disappearance as alien abductions makes uniting the world in response a much more plausible theory.

      Nevertheless, the Bible warns, “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10).

  1. The increasing movement toward a cashless society. Nowhere does the Bible correlate the invention of the internet as a sure sign of Jesus’ return. However, the Bible says that one way the Antichrist will rule the world is by controlling the world economy. Without the mark of the beast, no one can buy or sell. (See Revelation. 13:17.)  Just a few decades ago, we wondered how anyone could possibly control what was bought or sold in remote areas. Yet, with the prevalence of the internet and subsequent technological advancements such as facial recognition, smartphones, Q.R. codes, cryptocurrency, etc., we now have a better understanding of how that could occur. The World Economic Forum is lobbying for a cashless society, suggesting it will create a more inclusive economy since it could be managed by governments rather than banks. And, with more than 85% of the entire global population now owning a smartphone, emerging technologies make the transition to a cashless society much easier.
  2. The formation of the European Union. The prophet Daniel predicted the people who destroyed Jerusalem would eventually be the ancestors of “the ruler who will come”(Daniel 9:26).  Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70. Therefore, many scholars suggest the Antichrist will descend from a revised Roman Empire. Some suggest a step toward this prophecy being fulfilled was the unification of Europe in 1993, when twelve member nations, including Italy, signed the Maastricht Treaty to form the European Union.
  3. The 2020 Covid Pandemic. Regardless of the origin of Covid-19, it created global fear, tested submission to human authority, prepared for international oversight, and propagated lies about masks, vaccinations, and economic shutdowns. Since going through the pandemic, it is much easier for us to understand how in the end times, people throughout the world would blindly concede to unfair political and governmental demands, even under minimal threat.
  4. The bizarre promotion of gender confusion. The Bible warns in the last days, God “…sends them a powerful delusion so they will believe the lie”(2 Thessalonians 2:11). People will refuse to”believe the truth and delight in wickedness” (2 Thessalonians 2:12).

     The first institution God established was the family. He created a man and a woman and brought them together in a holy union. Marriage is the building block of society. Satan is determined to destroy what God has created. In the last few years, a blatant lie has been crammed down our throats — that gender is not something you were born with, but it is what you feel inside. 

     Men claiming to be women are allowed to compete in women’s sports and rob biological women of achievements.  While other men, under the pretense of “art,” masquerade as exaggerated female stereotypes and purposely expose children to hyper-sexualized behavior in libraries and elementary schools throughout the U.S.  The U.S. Secretary of State endorsed a “Woman of the Year” award given to a biological man. The Bible warns, “Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22). 

     Satan is desensitizing us to the truth and capturing the minds of our children. The goal of this cult is not tolerance but control. Below is a recent viral video from a transgender person who warned, “You will respect us.” The video is satanic. It is evil, and it would have never been tolerated 20 years ago. Yet Satan is desperate. He knows his time is short and is determined to wreak as much havoc as possible. I think the growing acceptance of transgenderism is proof that “The secret power of lawlessness is already at work…”  (2 Thessalonians 2:7). 

     “But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober” (1 Thess. 5:4-6).

Bob Russell is Retired Senior Minister of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY.




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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33