Business as Usual … But For How Long?
Try as we might to live normal lives, to conduct business as usual, and to be as secure on this planet as we possibly can, the ominous global events unfolding with alarming regularity are a constant cause of trepidation, turmoil, and terror. Although some folks apathetically disregard or even contemptuously scorn those whom they consider to be “prophets of gloom and doom,” it doesn’t change the fact that the sheer number and severity of 20th & 21st century experiences (not the least of which were two World Wars) demonstrate that we are perilously close to plunging into an apocalyptic abyss.
Lest anyone think that we, who are proclaiming, confirming, and defending the truth of God’s prophetic warnings (such as can be found in Eye of Prophecy articles—although there’s much more including the wonderful promises of God for Israel and for those who have been saved by God’s grace), are preaching our own ideas; then read with me just one of many Biblical pronouncements that noticeably apply to our generation:
“That terrible day of the Lord is near. Swiftly it comes—a day of bitter tears, a day when even strong men will cry out. It will be a day when the Lord’s anger is poured out—a day of terrible distress and anguish, a day of ruin and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, a day of trumpet calls and battle cries. Down go the walled cities and the strongest battlements!” (Zephaniah 1:14-16).
*Note: Please refer to Eye of Prophecy articles, Look Up Redemption Is Near, Part I & II, (posted 7-11-15 & 7-18-15) for a list of twelve monumental mileposts of the 20th and 21st centuries that have taken place or are unfolding precisely has predicted in the Bible.
We are on the brink of what the One Person who can and will deliver those who to turn to him when “…that great and terrible day of the Lord arrives” (Joel 2:31), forbiddingly forewarns as:
“For there will be greater anguish in those days than at any time since God created the world. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless the Lord shortens that time of calamity, not a single person will survive. But for the sake of his chosen ones he has shortened those days” (Mark 13:19-20).
From other passages in Scripture, we know who the chosen ones are: They are chosen because they choose Jesus, the true Messiah, over the false Antichrist messiah during the Great Tribulation. They are not, however, those born-again believers who are alive before this terrible turmoil begins; as we will be spared by the Rapture from the coming devastation and death.
Thus, there is still great hope, because: “…everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Joel 2:32).
Scripture tells us that this final time of terrible travail among peoples of all nations will last (be shortened to) seven years, with the final 3 ½ years the worst of all. Messiah Jesus will return to earth to abruptly end the catastrophic carnage caused primarily by Antichrist in the last part of the Tribulation. Before that, God will destroy the massive Gog/Magog campaign against Israel in the first half of the Tribulation. Messiah’s glorious return will also complete God’s just but severe judgment of the ungodly, of all evil in this wicked world we live in.
“…Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, your judgments are true and just” (Revelation 16:7).
The Sure and Stunning Return of Messiah
Read with me the astounding account of what the entire world (those who haven’t already perished at the hands of Antichrist or from the judgments of Almighty God) will see and experience just before the awesome days of the Millennium begin:
“Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war … He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven … followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords” (Revelation 19:11-16).
Then later in this spectacular chapter, John gives a brief, almost anti-climactic, report of the final Armageddon confrontation between Christ and Antichrist:
“Then I saw the beast and the kings of the world and their armies gathered together to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army. And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast—miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshipped his statue. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies” (Revelation 19:19-21).
Many in today’s world are thinking, acting, and saying exactly what the Apostle Peter predicted they would say in the last days:
“They will say, ‘What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.’ They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.” (II Peter 3:4-7).
Peter wasn’t told how long it would be until God judged the earth again or when Jesus would return; however, the Lord reminded him and Peter reminded all believers in Christ:
“But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends. A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about this promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment” (II Peter 3:8-10).
So, to all those out there who scoff at Scriptural truth in general and prophecy in particular, please understand that hundreds of Bible prophecies have come to pass, including the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Messiah Jesus. If they persist in claiming that Jesus isn’t coming again and/or don’t care; that the intensified evil in this world has nothing to do with demonic influence because Satan knows his time is short; or that they are not required by their Creator, the true and living God, to make a decision whether to accept Jesus as Savior or face him as their judge, then the Lord will let them have their way. Which is the worst thing that any person could ever do … go their own way instead of God’s way, as clearly mapped out in Scripture.
Listen to the Lord’s indictment (through the Apostle Paul) of all those who disbelieve, defame, and deny their Creator and the eternal truth of His Word:
“Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools … So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen” (Romans 1:21-25).
It’s little wonder then that entire governments, including the United States of America, are listening to those who want nothing to do with the written Word of God—the Bible—or with the Living Word of God, Messiah Jesus. Instead of concern about the true cause and effect of what’s happening the world over (especially in Israel) and what really matters, our Executive Staff and the Supreme Court have surrendered to the agendas of the “ungodly” (II Peter 3:7).
They have divisively diverted our attention to such things as: transgender bathrooms, same-sex marriage, pro-choice (abortion), global warming, and absurd extremes for environmental protection (plants and animals are far more important than people); or any number of “politically correct” issues. No matter that the world is teetering on the edge of an apocalyptic abyss, we must (they say) promote plurality, diversity, tolerance, and love—all based on self-serving, distorted, and deceptive secular humanistic definitions covered with the cloak of political correctness.
Scripture tells it like it is. Neither God nor His Word is politically correct.
Read the Bible and see for yourself. See what the Sovereign Lord says about sin and the human heart. Find out about God’s amazing grace, unconditional love, and magnificent plan of salvation for the human race. Discover that all you need to do is believe that Christ Jesus died for you and then receive him as your personal Savior, for your sins to be forgiven and the penalty of those sins pardoned. Nothing else is required. I repeat with a Biblical emphasis: Nothing whatsoever!
Eternal life in heaven is a gift, not something we earn through good deeds or religious rituals.
“We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty of our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood…” (Romans 3:22-25).
“He (Christ) was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God” (Romans 4:25).
Well, this may be the longest introduction to the main topic of any Eye of Prophecy written to date! But that’s okay, because there are two parts (articles) to the subject at hand. Also, I sometimes get carried away when focusing on who and what Eye of Prophecy is ultimately all about: Messiah Jesus and his Gospel (Good News) of salvation.
Continuing Where We Left Off in Revelation … Focusing on the Abyss
After Messiah Jesus triumphantly defeats Antichrist and the False Prophet and throws them into the Lake of Fire (forever) then annihilates their armies, the scene switches immediately to:
“…an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand. He seized the dragon—that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan—and bound him in chains for a thousand years. The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterward he must be released for a little while” (Revelation 20:1-3).
*Note: The New Living Translation from which I quote in Eye of Prophecy articles, unless otherwise noted (other Bible translations), uses the term bottomless pit instead of the designation most translations use: Abyss. They are interchangeably, one and the same.
In November, 2008, while I was reading from the book of Revelation, the Lord shook me with the equivalent of what I call in my second book “a 9.0 spiritual earthquake” (Out of the Abyss, page 114). This dramatic disclosure led directly to a substantial study of all Biblical passages about the Antichrist along with considerable research of both church and secular history, especially the 1st century. From that journey came my book, Out of the Abyss … can the number of the beast be solved? 666 (published February, 2011). After the fashion of a mystery novel building suspense (only fact not fiction), the actual identity of the Antichrist is revealed.
Then in July, 2013, I began the Eye of Prophecy website with all articles placed in one of four categories: Current Events, Prophecy in General, The Rapture, and The Antichrist. Many articles in the latter category provide amplified evidence that the Antichrist is none other than the Roman Emperor Nero.
It all began with proper understanding and accurate application of Revelation 17:7-8. Revelation Chapter 17 opens with John’s second vision of the Antichrist beast, this time with a woman sitting on the beast. John’s first observation of the beast is found in Revelation 13, which includes the infamous number of the beast, six hundred sixty-six—one of several keys to his identity. Revelation 17 then provides a more detailed biography of the beast.
The angel explains the stunning meaning of the amazing scene John had just witnessed:
“Why are you so amazed? the angel asked. I will tell you the mystery of this woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns on which she sits. The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now. And yet he will soon come up out of the bottomless pit and go to eternal destruction. And the people who belong to this world, whose names were not written in the Book of Life before the world was made, will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died” (Revelation 17:7-8, italics for emphasis).
The focus of today’s and next week’s Eye of Prophecy article is on the Abyss; thus only a brief commentary will be made on the other startling things found in this passage.
Beginning with the italicized portion: The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now. These ten words sent an electrifying current through me that turned on a huge beacon light, and subsequently guided my journey to and through all of the other passages on the Antichrist. After a mountain of Biblical and historical evidence, the resulting conclusion was (for me and I believe for anyone who carefully examines the evidence with an open mind and heart) irrefutable.
First fact: John saw this beast (man … the Antichrist) in real time—present tense while he was on the isle of Patmos.
Second fact: The astounding (refitting of the prophetic puzzle) statement by the angel who unveiled the mystery of the woman and the beast on which she sat: This man had already lived and died before John saw the bestial representation of the man (was once alive but isn’t now)!
Third fact: However, the Antichrist beast would soon (suddenly) return from the bottomless pit (Abyss).
Fourth fact: Unbelievers (those who belong to the world) “will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died.”
The staggering implication through correct comprehension and accurate application of this passage is as follows:
The Antichrist will NOT be a modern-day born man. How could he be when the angel plainly tells John that this man had already lived and died? Read the verse again. How else can it be understood? This same man who had already lived and died, before John saw the beastly image of the man, will return and the vast majority of those left behind at the Rapture will be utterly amazed at his reappearance. Why will they be so amazed? This answer is amplified in Revelation Chapter 13 which talks about the fatal wound (Nero was killed with a sword by his servant after Nero tried unsuccessfully to commit suicide).
“I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast. They worshiped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they also worshiped the beast…” (Revelation 13:3-4).
There is one, and only one reason why so many will (voluntarily, as some will capitulate out of fear) yield their body, soul, and spirit to this evil man (Nero): Because of—what will appear to them—a miraculous return to the earth … some 2,000 years after his death.
However, as we will see, Nero doesn’t actually return from the grave. Instead, he reappears from the Abyss as clearly stated in Revelation 17:8.
Thus, we’re going to take an up close and personal look at the Abyss. What is it? Where is it? And why Antichrist Nero was placed (banished to) in the Abyss as opposed to what would have been his certain destiny—Hades (hell).
In the course of this fantastic voyage this week and next, we’re also going to see those “beings” that have been banished to the Abyss all have bodies, including Nero. They are not merely spirits. This also applies to Satan, because the passage we read earlier states that he will be bound by chains (you don’t need chains to bind a spirit) and cast into the Abyss as “the dragon.” The passage then proceeds to make sure we understand who the dragon is, i.e. the devil, Satan.
(Artist Rendition of the Bottomless Pit)
Actually, all angels have (spiritual) bodies that are in a different (unseen) dimension from ours; however, the Bible is clear that both evil and good angels from time to time have taken on human form.
What Is The Abyss? (Who Inhabits It?)
Beginning with a logical premise: In order for the Antichrist beast to “reappear” from the Abyss, he must first need to have been placed there. Along with another foundational fact: The Abyss is a literal place, but not the same place as Hell. The Hebrew word for hell is Sheol—place of the dead—in the Old Testament. In the New Testament the Greek word for hell is Hades.
Both Sheol and Hades are used numerous times in the Old Testament and New Testament, respectively. However, the Greek word abyssos, translated Abyss or bottomless pit, is only used nine times in the New Testament, seven of which are in the book of Revelation. In the Old Testament Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew) abyssos is the translated word from primarily the Hebrew word Tehom; which represents the deep waters of the earth (as in oceans) as opposed to the land. It never relates to the place of the dead; that is reserved for the word Sheol.
During the four hundred silent years of transition between the Old and New Testament, the concept contained in the Greek word abyssos was expanded to include the sinister underworld that was the realm of (some) demons. While still (partially) retaining the Hebrew tehom … the idea of deep waters in terms of where the Abyss is actually located.
In fact, John’s first vision of the Antichrist begins with these words: “Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea” (Revelation 13:1). Next week’s article will provide convincing evidence to show that the sea in this verse is literal, not symbolic!
Let’s read about an extraordinary incident involving Jesus, his disciples, and a man possessed by several thousand (“legion”) demons.
It took place immediately after Jesus and his disciples had crossed the Sea of Galilee from the Jewish side (west bank) to the Gentile side (east bank). During this journey, Jesus performed another remarkable miracle—that of commanding the wind and waves generated by a huge storm to be silent … literally to “shut up.”
Do you remember the reaction of his disciples?
“…The disciples were terrified and amazed. ‘Who is this man?’ they asked each other. ‘When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!’” (Luke 8:25).
Let’s pick it up with the very next verse:
“So they arrived in the region of the Gerasenes, across the lake from Galilee. As Jesus was climbing out of the boat, a man who was possessed by demons came out to meet him … As soon as he saw Jesus, he shrieked and fell down in front of him. Then he screamed, ‘Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Please, I beg you, don’t torture me!’ For Jesus had already commanded the evil spirit to come out of him…
“Jesus demanded, ‘What is your name?’
‘Legion,’ he replied, for he was filled with many demons. The demons kept begging Jesus not to send them into the bottomless pit” (Luke 8:26-31, italics for emphasis).
Do you recall what happened next?
The Lord allowed these hideous demons to enter into a herd of nearby pigs, with the pigs so overcome that they ran headlong into the sea and drowned!
Here is an excerpt (in italics) from my book, Out of the Abyss:
Can you imagine that? These sons of Satan, as it were, would do anything just to stay on the earth, even if it meant possessing a pig or two. Note, that I said they would do anything to remain on the earth. As we’ve already seen, the earth and some heavenly places are the current dwelling place for Satan and the fallen angels. Not hell, although they may have access to hell. The bottom line is that they are free to roam the earth and certain parts of the heavenly places.
What made them so terrified? The passage answers that question. “The demons kept begging Jesus not to send them into the bottomless pit” (Luke 8:31). Ouch … anything but the bottomless pit. Give us a break. Have mercy. Give us these pigs to live in, but don’t deport us to the Abyss. Please….
We see two very distinct features in this passage: (1) fallen angels absolutely dread the thought of banishment to the Abyss. (2) Whereas, many demons roam and wreak havoc on the earth; some are restricted to the Abyss. (Pages 228-229).
Now let’s examine one of the most intriguing passages in all of Scripture that dovetails with our inspection of the Abyss.
“And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment” (Jude verse 6, italics for emphasis).
In the New American Standard Bible, the above italicized words (taken from the New Living Translation) reads, “eternal bonds under darkness.” The King James Version states: “everlasting chains under darkness.”
The Apostle Peter also writes about these fallen angels:
“For God did not spare even the angels who sinned. He threw them into hell, in gloomy pits of darkness, where they are being held until the day of judgment” (II Peter 2:4).
In that verse, the Greek word translated into English as hell is not the normally used word, Hades. Rather, it is the Greek word, Tartarus.
By combining Jude 6 with II Peter Chapter 2—from both the definition (meaning and concept) of the Greek words abyssos and Tartarus, and from the next passage in Revelation that we’ll examine (actual physical evidence)—it’s quite evident that they are the same place. With the Abyss pertaining primarily to a deep underworld pit reserved for extremely wicked angels, and Tartarus relating mainly to the imprisonment of these beings.
Another excerpt in italics from Out of the Abyss to amplify and clarify this:
Most Bible scholars link this special group of angels to the Genesis Chapter 6 account in which some of the fallen angels cohabited with women; thereby, producing the Nephilim … the clear gist of II Peter and Jude is that some angels continue to roam the earth and the heavenly places; whereas, other angels were confined and chained in a pit of darkness called Tartarus, which is the same as the bottomless pit or the Abyss.
That’s why the demons (the ones begging Jesus not to banish them to the Abyss) wanted no part of the bottomless pit. I believe the combination of these passages plainly indicate that the Abyss is a special place currently reserved for extremely wicked angels who, at Satan’s behest, attempted to dilute and pervert the whole human race. In short, Satan used some of the fallen angels to corrupt the racial line of the prophesied Messiah. In fact, the Bible tells us that God sent the Great Flood primarily because of the wickedness perpetrated by the offspring of this unholy union between angels and woman (pages 229-230).
Continuing with: What is the Abyss? (More Evidence of Who/What Resides There)
The following passage is the first mention of the Abyss in the book of Revelation:
“Then the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen to earth from the sky, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. When he opened it, smoke poured out as though from a huge furnace, and the sunlight and air turned dark from the smoke. Then locusts came from the smoke and descended on the earth, and they were given power to sting like scorpions. They were told not to harm the grass or plants or trees, but only the people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were told not to kill them but to torture them for five months with pain like the pain of a scorpion sting” (Revelation 9:1-5).
Subsequently, verses 7-11 provide a chilling description of these hideous creatures and who leads them.
Another excerpt from Out of the Abyss, again in italics:
…Several scholars believe the locusts are merely symbolic of who knows what. A strong hint: only real creatures can do what these locusts are released to do …
Also, we can once again draw on the significance of personal pronouns. In this chapter, the locusts are repeatedly referred to as, “they” … The text leaves no doubt that the locusts are real beings with real bodies. “They” is distinctly a personal pronoun. Moreover, these locusts originate from a specific place, the Abyss, not some figurative location that represents something else. I don’t see helicopters or tanks or drones or any other symbolic representation for locusts coming from the Abyss. We don’t use personal pronouns in place of objects or things.
I personally concur with Bible scholars who contend that these locusts are the fallen angels described in Genesis, II Peter, and Jude. Scripture unmistakably shows that God’s good angels sometimes take on human form; there are several examples of that in the Bible. With respect to fallen angels, they had their one chance to take on human form, and they blew it. They used this privilege to (unsuccessfully) eliminate the purity of the chosen seed of Messiah, through Adam’s son, Seth and his descendants. To Satan’s irony, these demonic beings will torture only the unbelievers during the tribulation … I’m not sure even Nero will have an explanation for this, except he might blame it on God for releasing them from the Abyss.
These locusts, as John describes them, are actual beings and have a body. It’s not too hard to imagine that the sheer evil of these angels coupled with thousands of years in the bottomless pit, would result in a twisted and repulsive appearance. The fact is, however, they come from the Abyss … not hell.
Hell is not under lock and key; in fact, the souls of all who die without Christ go directly to hell. No permission is needed to get in. Of course they can’t escape because Jesus tells us there is a great chasm separating hell from Abraham’s bosom, the place that believers went before Christ arose from the dead. Now, when the believer’s body dies, his or her spirit is instantly with the Lord!
Notice the difference: hell has a great gulf. The Abyss has a shaft and is essentially bottomless. Unbelievers go to hell; warped angels are confined to the Abyss. At the final judgment, however, all of the unsaved will be thrown into the Lake of Fire along with Satan and his demons, to join the Antichrist and False Prophet, who get a one-way ticket to the Lake of Fire one thousand years before the others (pages 230-231).
The next page or so in Out of the Abyss contains compelling evidence to affirm what I alluded to earlier in today’s article: Satan will be incarcerated in the Abyss under lock and key as an embodied being during the Millennium.
Satan is specifically and uniquely referred to as “the dragon” in Revelation Chapter 20; he will be chained during his time in the Abyss. I believe that Satan’s depiction as the dragon is not a symbolic description. For one thing, the text says that Satan is “the dragon.” Not, “a dragon,” which would then convey a metaphorical image. It’s clear in Scripture that Satan can personify himself in other forms, i.e. a serpent in the Garden of Eden. The image of a dragon is strikingly similar to that of a serpent.
In keeping with their symbolic interpretation, many scholars also say the chain that binds Satan (Revelation 20) is symbolic.
My response: If the chain is metaphorical, then why is the chain referred to as heavy. If the chain is symbolic, there’s absolutely no literary or linguistic need to describe the chain as “heavy.”
Moreover, it’s not at all unusual to imagine that a dragon-like creature could be the ultimate incarnation of pure evil. In fact, literature from all cultures for thousands of years has employed the image of a dragon as man’s nightmarish enemy. On the other hand, it’s probably best not to equate Satan’s bodily appearance with the kind of fire-breathing dragons we’ve all seen in movies. Likely as not, Lucifer has retained some of the beauty and splendor that God created him with. (See Ezekiel 28:11-17). In that context, he disguises himself as an “angel of light.” (II Corinthians 11:14).
(The Arrogant “I Wills” of Lucifer … Isaiah Chapter 14)
Things to Ponder
Just as there is a difference between a main street and Main Street (in a city) so is there a distinction between an/any abyss (chasm, gulf, deep pit) and The Abyss—of which there is only one.
Don’t miss next week’s article. I’ll answer the question: Where is the Abyss? As well as the intriguing question: Why was Nero sent to the Abyss?
Please keep in mind as we continue: There are two significant reasons why it’s important to realize that Scripture enables us to know the identity of Antichrist (Nero) and from where he will reappear. In fact, Revelation 13:18 and 17:9 challenges the reader to solve the mystery of the Antichrist … his identity.
(1) The need to accurately ascertain (correctly refit the prophetic puzzle) all things disclosed by Scripture and found in the history books pertaining to the past, present, and future of the tyrant who would dare boast that he is God and Messiah. A man who will deceive millions upon millions of people because they will believe that he arose from the dead. That, because of the 2,000 year time-lapse, they will consider Nero’s revival greater even than that of the true Messiah’s resurrection. They won’t know or even care that he actually comes from the Abyss, who put him there in the first place, and who allowed him to be released (the Lord).
(2) Knowing who the Antichrist is and that he comes from the Abyss instead of the grave (realm of the dead) is a vital distinction to be made, both now and after the Rapture. Otherwise, many will continue their efforts to identify a contemporary (modern-day born) man who fits whatever people think they know about the Antichrist. Even more importantly for those left behind at the Rapture: Knowing the actual identity of the Antichrist and from where (how) he arrives on the scene will greatly reduce, if not eliminate, their amazement at his (re)appearance. Which, in turn, will encourage them to choose the true Messiah (Jesus) instead of the false messiah … Nero.
Yet, it’s far better to choose Messiah Jesus now. If you die without Christ, it’s too late. If you’re alive after the Rapture, it will be agonizingly difficult to choose Jesus over Nero; because it will mean extreme hardship and almost certain death to refuse Nero’s demands on you.
Say, “Yes” to Jesus now and be assured that one day you will be with the host of heaven shouting and singing:
“Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever” (Revelation 5:13).