A Grain Of Wheat Ministries

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Chapter Eight

Antichrist, book by David W. Dyer

A "Grain Of Wheat" Ministries publication

Written by David W. Dyer


Chapter 1 - Part 1: PART I: THE RAM AND THE GOAT


Chapter 1 - Part III: THE FOUR BEASTS





Chapter 5: BABYLON



Chapter 8: PERSECUTION (Current Chapter)




Perhaps you remember the scandalous “oil for food program” made for Saddam Hussein and administered by the U.N. Well, it could be that the Antichrist will initiate something similar. I call it the “oil for Christians program.”

He may say something like this to the nations: “You hand over those who will not worship and you will get your monthly quota of oil. If you don’t give them or their heads to me, you get no oil.”

This then would leave the government of each nation responsible for rounding up and handing over to death anyone who resisted this new faith. No doubt a large number of these would be Christians.

You see, the Antichrist will have no need to invade your country. He won’t have to send his armies to come and get you where you live. He will be able to simply pressure your government to do it for him. They then will have to use whatever means are at their disposal to do his will so that they can get their oil and continue to function.

Naturally, the more developed the country, the better the officials will be at tracking you down and handing you over. The “first world” nations will have many sophisticated gadgets and techniques to do this job.

It may be that as part of this program, he could assign quotas to various governments. Adolph Hitler used this method. He would assign to each of the conquered areas under his control a quota of Jews to be rounded up. He would give the local governments a time limit in which to search out and hand over that number. No doubt, he had some informants or officials to give him an idea of what that quota should be. This system could work very well for the Antichrist.


At first it is probable that in countries where Christians are numerous, they would stiffly resist such action. They could become vocal and visible, marching and protesting against the Antichrist’s religion and programs, against making concessions and, of course, eventually against being traded for oil.

But, without petroleum, the economies of these countries would begin to suffer. The nonbelievers would soon begin to feel the impact.

When the lack of fuel began to touch their lives, i.e. their jobs, their prosperity and even the feeding of their family, they will begin to hate anyone who seems to be standing in their way. They too would begin to riot and protest. They would insist that their government do whatever was necessary to restore the status quo.

If there were some vocal Christians who are opposing the capitulation of their government, then these will be blamed for any shortages of oil. When the people of the world begin to suffer because a few Christians won’t go along with the program, then the believers will become a target of wrath. Anyone who stands in the way of people continuing on with their usual, prosperous lifestyle will become expendable.

Of course, this sentiment will take some time to grow. These things will not happen overnight. But, when the choice becomes between individual survival and those “religious fanatics” who are simply too stubborn to bend a little or give in, well ... who knows?

Further, the prince of this world, Satan, will be putting all of his power behind this scheme. So, as the pressure grows due to a collapsing economy, unemployment, and even starvation the thoughts and feelings of many will change. They will turn against those who are keeping them from what they want and need. Their unholy, fallen nature will begin to reveal itself.

Soon, betrayal will become common. Folks will begin to report on others whom they suspect of not cooperating. After a while they will turn in their friends and even their family to the government.

We read: “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another” (Mt 24:9,10). Also: “Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all men for my name’s sake” (Mk 13:12, 13a).

During this time, anyone who is getting in the way of people receiving their oil (and therefore their survival and comfort) will be hated, persecuted and betrayed. They will be tortured and killed. The hatred toward God which many people of the world have hidden away within them will come out toward you.

If you are standing in the way of what they want and what they believe they need, they will kill you. Your friends will turn you in. Even other Christians will not be reliable.

This will be the hour of trial for many Christians. It is probable that millions will be killed. The Holy Spirit who is now restraining this flood of wickedness will be taken out of the way (II Thess 2:7). The protection from God which we enjoy will also be much less. The Antichrist is “...granted [by God] to make war with the saints and to overcome them” (Rev 13:7). This will be our Lord’s way of testing and purifying many believers who today are lukewarm and have little commitment to Him or His work. It will be the hour of decision, revealing whether we really love Jesus or not.

These will certainly be “perilous times.” This will be a time for which the events in Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union may seem like just a dress rehearsal. This will be a period of tremendous turmoil and confusion on a global scale. Many people will just not know which way to turn.

They will be under tremendous pressure. There will be pressure to conform, pressure to feed their families, pressure to follow what other Christians are doing (or not doing). These pressures will generate many conflicting thoughts, emotions, opinions, and directions. No doubt, others who are also in confusion will offer their insights and ideas as well.

It is impossible to predict or imagine all the different things which will happen. What the Antichrist will do, how people will react, how each different nation might try to implement his demands, all these things are far beyond our speculation at this time.

What has been written here is but a feeble attempt to give an impression of what those times will be like. But we do know some things for sure. It will be a time of “great tribulation,” confusion and trouble. It will be a time of testing for all believers. All Christians will have to get in intimate touch with Jesus for themselves and learn to follow Him.

Please do not make the mistake of thinking that the word “tribulation” here refers to the judgments of God which He will pour out on the world. This is not the biblical meaning of the word. Instead, it refers to what will happen to believers. In fact, a better translation of the Greek word is “persecution” rather than tribulation.

Remember, we read that “...they will deliver YOU up to tribulation {persecution} and kill YOU” (Mt 24:9). You see, “judgment” is for the unbelievers, but the word “tribulation” or “persecution” refers to what will happen to Christians through the actions of the Antichrist and the people of the world. You, if you are alive, will go through this persecution.


Just at this critical time when everything is in turmoil and disorder, many individuals will rise up claiming to have a word from the Lord. They are called by Jesus “false prophets” (Mt 24:24). Incredibly, they will be performing “great signs and wonders” to prove that their messages are from God. It is possible that many of these will claim to be manifestations of ancient prophets or well-known men of God.

The false prophets’ words and emphases may be different from one another, but they will all have one thing in common. They will be trying to promote themselves. They will be the ones ultimately gaining from their “revelations.” It may be that they will garner prestige, followers, money, or some other thing. But their motives will not be the humble service of God and others. Instead, they will really be serving themselves.

Additionally, also at this crucial hour, false christs will proliferate. Due to the pressure on believers to find an answer to their dilemmas, the second coming of Jesus will seem to be the ultimate solution. So, many christs will appear in many different parts of the globe.

Rumors of their appearing will spread like wildfire. Where they have shown up and who they are will be a topic of much conversation in Christian circles. Many will waste their time and money flocking to these false messiahs in desperation, looking for help and direction.

We read: “Then [precisely during that time of trouble] if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Mt 24:23-27).

So we see that at this time there will be many conflicting voices. Many will be claiming to have or even to be the answer. How will Christians know what to do in such an hour? The answer is that we must cultivate an intimacy with Jesus today.

Don’t wait until later. Don’t put your confidence in some human leader to make your decisions for you. Every believer right now today must get to know his Savior personally and intimately. It is only by following His instructions that we will either survive what is coming or glorify Him in our death.


No doubt reading through this book, many Christians are thinking: “But what about the rapture? All these horrors couldn’t happen to Christians. They will already have been raptured by the time all these things take place. Therefore, we don’t have to worry about them.”

Well, God bless you my brother or sister, may it happen just as you say. But if it doesn’t, then you may find yourself in a very difficult situation without having made any preparation.

Truthfully, the Bible is very specific about the timing of what is called the “rapture.” There is really no mystery. The scripture leaves us little room for doubt. The secret here has to do with a trumpet, a very specific trumpet called the “last trumpet.” When this last trumpet sounds, “...the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (I Cor 15:52).

This very same trumpet is found again in I Thessalonians 4:16,17 where we read: “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”

So this “last trumpet” is the signal for the rapture (I Cor 15:52). This is easy to understand. No last trumpet, no rapture. But when is this final trumpet? By definition, it must be: 1) the same as the seventh trumpet which sounds very near the end (Rev 10:7) or: 2) a later “last trumpet” which is not mentioned in the book of Revelation.

Supporting the idea that the “last” trumpet is after the tribulation we read: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days...he will send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Mt 24:29-31). In order for the word “last” to have any meaning, it cannot be before the other tribulation trumpets. It must be the “last” one. Therefore, the rapture must come literally “after the tribulation” just as the scripture says.

Some Bible teachers have engaged in some rather fantastic theological gymnastics to try to counteract this obvious truth. Suddenly, for them, the “elect” mentioned above are not believers any more as they are in other parts of the New Testament (Mt 24:24; Lk 18:7; Rm 8:33; Col 3:12; Tit 1:1; I Pet 1:2) but Jews – an interpretation which has no supporting verses.

Next, this trumpet becomes merely part of some feast of Israel and is disassociated from the other trumpets of the gospels and Revelation, thus annulling the other “trumpet” scriptures which apply. These arguments are tricky and convoluted. Needless to say, they will only convince those who want to be convinced.

One major argument some teachers use to dispute the possibility of Christians experiencing the tribulation goes something like this. “During the tribulation period, God pours out His wrath. But He would never pour out His wrath upon His own children.”

Well, let us think about this for a minute. Couldn’t God judge the unrighteous and still protect His own people while He is doing it, even if they were still on the earth?

When God’s judgments were executed on the land of Egypt, God protected His people who lived there from some of the plagues (Ex 8:22). Before the opening of the seventh seal, when the judgments of God begin to fall heavily on the earth, some servants of God are sealed on their foreheads (Rev 7:3). It is obvious from the context that they are sealed so that the judgments which come upon the others do not fall upon them.

Whether these servants are only Jews or symbolic of Christians does not really matter. The fact is that God is able to and is protecting His people in the middle of His judgments. Therefore, it is not necessary for Him to whisk His children off the earth before His judgments come.

As a young Christian I remember watching a film about the end times. It was a movie about the tribulation. In the beginning of the movie, before the real action started, a Bible teacher came on the screen to explain that no Christians would be in the tribulation because God would not allow His children to suffer.

Then they went on to show the film which was about some of God’s children suffering through the tribulation.

The only difference between those who suffered and those who didn’t was that the suffering ones were unlucky enough to have received Christ after the rapture. Evidently, someone thought that God will love those children less and so allow them to suffer what the others did not.

This kind of thinking is completely illogical. For example, it is not possible for any believer to suffer in the future more than many Christians have already suffered at the hands of their enemies.

Countless believers have been tortured in every conceivable manner from the early church days until now. God allowed them to suffer and suffer intensely. Yet you can be assured that God did love these people. Please don’t be fooled by those who are preaching “peace and safety” (I Thess 5:3).

It is my impression that many Christians do not really want to hear this message. They don’t want to be told anything which might disrupt their prosperous, easy lives. They would like to shut their eyes and their ears so that nothing could enter in which might challenge them to change their relationship with the Lord, their lifestyle, or their place of residence.

What most are concerned about is just peace and safety. Anything which disrupts this is rejected and discarded. Yet, it is precisely at a time of seeming peace and safety that all these things will begin to take place. Furthermore, they will take place suddenly (I Thess 5:3). If we are forewarned, then we also can be ready. This readiness might involve both spiritual and physical preparation. 

End of Chapter 8

Read other chapters online:

Chapter 1 - Part 1: PART I: THE RAM AND THE GOAT


Chapter 1 - Part III: THE FOUR BEASTS





Chapter 5: BABYLON



Chapter 8: PERSECUTION (Current Chapter)



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