There are many indications that we are living in the end times. The ultimate showdown: will the Second Coming of Christ or the coming reign of the Antichrist define how today’s believers live their lives? This article is an excerpt from the book titled “666: The Mark of the Beast Made Simple.”
Having dispelled the shadows, fears, and misconceptions surrounding 666 and the mark of the beast, we now shift our focus to the Bible’s empowering message for those navigating these tumultuous times. This chapter will explore practical insights for thriving in the end times without being troubled, fearful, or fainthearted.
Two Groups of End-times Christians
Since Jesus left, Christians have commonly thought He would return in their generation, especially during major catastrophic world events. Our generation is almost certain Jesus will return in our time—with unprecedented moral decadence, political unrest, economic turmoil, plagues, and natural disasters.
Chronologically, we can categorize Christians in these last days into two groups: those living before the Antichrist’s reign and those present during his rule. For example, although we are in the end times, we have not yet entered the era of the Antichrist. Most Christians believe the rapture will take place before the Antichrist’s reign. Other Christians, however, have different views on this.
This book follows the pre-tribulation view that the church will be raptured before the Antichrist unleashes hell on Earth. Therefore, despite the multiple signs of the end, God’s prophetic clock for the end time has not yet started ticking. We are still in the pre-tribulation, pre-rapture generation.
So how should we live?
Living in the End Times Before the Antichrist
Here are two explicit commandments for living in the end times:
- Live with the constant expectation of Jesus’s return. Christians should always be ready for Christ’s return, and that sense of His imminent coming will make us live in holiness and do His work quickly (1 John 3:3).
- Overcome the dragon and the beasts. We should overcome the dragon (Satan), his workers, and his devices as we wait.
Anticipating Christ’s return and overcoming the devil requires us to recognize the signs of the times and remain informed about global events. The continuous struggles in everyday Christian living and the intensifying darkness in the world serve as reminders that the sinister dragon is already present and active.
The Dragon and the Beast Today
When reading the book of Revelation, particularly chapter 12, some Christians may be tempted to think that Satan, depicted as the seven-headed dragon, will appear on Earth during the last days. However, this is a grave mistake. That dragon, Satan, is here on Earth right now. In fact, he has been here since Adam and Eve fell in the Garden. Some of us may be shocked to learn that the dragon may have attacked us today, attempting to seduce us into disobeying God, just as he seduced Eve.
The dragon is already here, constantly working to fulfill his two-fold purpose through a three-fold strategy and a four-fold power system mentioned earlier. He is actively seeking to turn people from Christ to Satan. He lures them with promises of pleasure, power, or fame and through other temptations and lies. How many Christians have shipwrecked their faith because of the promise of pleasure, power, fame, prosperity, or celebrity status?
Satan’s false prophets are deceiving many with false teachings and miracles today. And his antichrist leaders are persecuting Christians all over the world.
Therefore, it is crucial to acknowledge the simple but profound truth that the dragon is already here, and his antichrists and false prophets are hard at work. However, there will come a time when this work will expand on a global scale, surpassing anything previously witnessed. And the coming Antichrist will fully embody everything antichrist, and his false prophet will fully embody everything false prophet.
As a result, here is Jesus’s command for us today: Overcome the dragon and his beastly activities. Do not reject Christ for sexual pleasure or the promise of prosperity, fame, or power gained through ungodly lifestyles. Be discerning about what you hear from pastors, teachers, or prophets, and stand firm in your faith, even amid persecution.
How to Avoid the Mark of the Beast
There is no mark of the beast to avoid until the beast appears and reveals his Satanic government ID. Believers in Jesus Christ during the Antichrist’s reign must profess their faith in Jesus and reject the Antichrist, even at the cost of their lives.
However, for Christians living before this time, there is no mark of the beast to avoid until the beast rises to power. The mark is not yet here. However, we have the dragon, the spirit of the Antichrist, and satanic pressures all around us.
There are two things people can do today to overcome the dragon, his beasts, and his activities:
- Believe in Jesus as Savior and Lord.
- Maintain a healthy relationship with Him every day.
So here is how to overcome the dragon in these perilous times before the Antichrist and his government: resist temptations, avoid false teachers and prophets, and do not bow to persecution in any form.
The Miserable Defeat of the Dragon and the Beast
In the darkness of these end-time events, two events shine a bright light:
- The pitiful end of the dragon and the Beast.
- The believer’s entrance into unfathomable eternal glory.
John presents the end of the dragon, the Antichrist, and the false prophet:
“And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10)
Paul puts it this way:
“And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8)
Jesus will defeat and destroy the Antichrist. (Please see the graphic depiction below.)
Afterward, Christians will receive their full inheritance from God, including a new spiritual body that can fully contain and express the Holy Spirit without limitations from sin, the flesh, or physical weakness. God will fully immerse our being with the fullness of His Being, allowing us to live—feel, think, act, and speak—as He does.
It is impossible to fully describe the joy and glory that await those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Nothing in this world can compare to the eternal bliss that awaits them, and none of its troubles or fleeting pleasures are worth forfeiting such priceless glory.
Rather than fear what is happening in the world, our hearts resonate with the words of John:
“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20, KJV)
- Revelation 13: A Simple Guide to Understand this Chapter
- What Does 666 Mean?
- What is the Mark of the Beast?
- The Antichrist and the Coming New World Order
- Watch Book Trailer. 666: The Mark of the Beast Made Simple
- View all Bible Study Topics, including End Times Articles.
- External Resource: ChristianToday End Times Articles.
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