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 worshiped his statue. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.
- Revelation 19:20
Years ago historian Arnold Toynbee said, "By forcing on mankind more and more lethal weapons and at the same time making the whole world more and more interdependent economically, technology has brought mankind to such a degree of distress that we are ripe for deifying any new Caesar who might succeed in giving the world unity and peace."
Toynbee's statement fits the biblical scenario. The deifying of a "new Caesar" will take place in the future. And things are ripe for such a man to emerge on the world stage. This coming world leader will do what no other man has ever been able to do before: bring global peace. He will be so successful that he will be hailed as the greatest peacemaker who has ever lived. But behind that will be the most evil man who has ever walked this earth.
Why give even a passing thought to the Antichrist? One reason would be that more than 100 passages in Scripture detail the origin, nationality, career, character, kingdom, and final doom of the Antichrist. He is discussed in-depth in the books of Revelation and Daniel. He is also referenced in 2 Thessalonians and in 1 John. The sheer volume of information in Scripture about the Antichrist is enough for us to want to understand who he is and what he will do.
But I think there is another reason we should know about the Antichrist. As we read Scripture and see him reigning, as we see evil predominant in the culture, it could almost look as though things will end for the worst. But as we continue to read the narrative as given to us in Revelation, we see the Antichrist defeated. We see that evil is overcome. And we are reminded that we win in the end.