Summer is the time for blockbuster films, so imagine this: A moviegoer spends the entire two hours in a dark theater obsessed with finding out who the covert villain is—focusing on nothing else in the movie, such as clues, the characters, the scenery or the action.
Many believers do just this when they focus on who—or what—the Antichrist might be. But, says author and minister Mark Biltz, speculating about the Antichrist's identity rather than learning more about his goals, motivations and tactics, is a mistake.
Biltz, author of the new book, Decoding the Antichrist and the End Times: What the Bible Says and What the Future Holds, says when those in the church obsess about whom the Antichrist might be—and even divide themselves because of the speculation—they do nothing to advance the kingdom.
"Too many people get caught up in debating doctrine and don't accomplish anything for the kingdom," Biltz said. "Many in the prophetic movement believe they will win points if they can be the first to identify who the Antichrist is or when the rapture will be. There are no extra points for being right, and God is not going by a voting poll. I would rather be wrong and ready than right and unprepared. We need to know the signs of our times!
"Just as the falling of the leaves in autumn suggest a new season is coming, and just as the Bible declares to everything there is a season and a time and purpose for all that God does under heaven, sadly, the Bible also declares His kids just don't get it," Biltz continued. "In Jeremiah 8:7, God is basically asking why the stork, turtledove, crane and swallow all know what time it is, but His people don't. This was Yeshua's rebuke to His generation, especially the religious leaders: they did not know what time it was. Likewise, as we see things unfolding in this world in the political, economic and biblical realms, we know it is time to buckle up as we are about to go on the ride of our lives."
Biltz added that he believes the universe is entering a new season biblically.
"To properly face the future, like Lot's wife, we'd better not look back," he said. "The historical confluence of events surrounding Israel in the recent past tells us that we are shutting the door on one biblical cycle and entering a new cycle. We seem to be entering uncharted waters and are unsure of the navigational charts we are looking at. While the Bible admonishes us to remember the past, we are still not to look back but to keep on plowing and working the field until Messiah comes."
In the conclusion of Decoding the Antichrist and the End Times, Biltz lays out a biblical scenario as an example. As Noah was building the ark, all of his neighbors were trying to understand the prophecy of the coming rains and debating whether Noah was a prophet from God or not.
"Imagine with me that half of the people believed Noah was from God," Biltz said. "Of those, half believed the rains were coming anytime. Those who believed the flood was coming started arguing over what day the rains would begin. As the clouds formed, the bets got even higher. The problem was, nobody got on the boat. So when it came time to collect their bets, they all lost. The winners couldn't cash in because all the losers had to 'float' their checks!
"We need to know our past so we can correct our mistakes, but we do not live in the past," he added. "Christians like to talk about the Jewish leaders in the day of Yeshua being caught up in their manmade traditions and consequently missing the Messiah. I'm afraid the same is true of many Christian leaders today who are too caught up in their denominational traditions to consider that maybe they aren't biblical."
Just as the religious leaders in the Messiah's time were worried about losing their place, there are also Christian leaders today who know of manmade doctrines in their denomination that contradict the Bible, yet they are worried about losing their place or job, so they are willing to maintain traditions that go against the Bible.
Biltz also stresses that deception in these last days will be enormous.
"This is why it is so important to have an accurate understanding of the philosophy of the Antichrist rather than trying to figure out who it is," he said. "Unbeknownst to many, the Antichrist spirit that has been around for thousands of years has been seducing the multitudes with his spirit of lawlessness.
"Knowing who the Antichrist will be is not as important as knowing his overall philosophy," Biltz added. "We need to know he wants to change the times and seasons so we will be caught unaware. We need to know God's appointed times so we will know when to be watching and when to get on board! We need to know the Antichrist spirit is one of lawlessness—not just regarding the laws of the world, as many of their laws are lawless; the Antichrist is opposed to God's laws! If we treat God's laws as being done away with or to be disregarded and thrown into the trash bin of history, we are in big trouble."
In Decoding the Antichrist and the End Times, Biltz asks powerful questions such as: What does the Bible say about the Antichrist, his tactics and his motivation? Will the Antichrist work through modern technology to take over? Does the Bible give us clues about the Antichrist and the end times?
Mark Biltz is founder of El Shaddai Ministries and a well-known and popular commentator on the feasts of the Lord. In fact, he has produced a series of DVDs on the feasts that have gone around the world. Biltz is also the author of Blood Moons and God's Day Timer. His research and theories have led to guest appearances on both radio and television as well as being featured on the covers of magazines.
Decoding the Antichrist and the End Times is published by Charisma House, which has published books that challenge, encourage, teach and equip Christians, including 14 New York Times' bestsellers.
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