Pastor and professor Franklin Ferreira stated that “the spirit of the antichrist operates in the West” and the greatest evidence is the changes in paradigms that have underpinned this society over the last few centuries.
The professor’s statement comes from the interpretative analysis of the book of Revelation, in which the end of times is described from different perspectives and which also covers the period that marked the Roman Empire’s greatest offensive against the Church in the first century.
However, says Ferreira, “John’s prophetic criticism of Roman imperial power, as revealed in Revelation, is expanded and applied to the entire State that imposes its ideology on the entire society and requires worship of its leader, in place of the only living God and sovereign.” This is the connection point that the professor’s article, published by People’s Gazettedoes with the setting in the Western world.
Ferreira says that “much of the beast described in the book of Revelation was seen in the figure of Emperor Domitian [que ocupou o posto entre 81 e 96 d.C.]”, but other aspects of this fearful being “have no parallel in the Roman world”.
“It will be a combination of all the wicked beasts or empires that, throughout history, have risen up against God and his people. Therefore, the beast of the vision is the Antichrist, a sum of all the oppressive kingdoms and totalitarian states that arose before it”, he adds.
“The beast is not just a concentration of political and military power, or the deification of the State and its ruler; it personifies satanic evil, obtaining its power and authority from the dragon, which operates through the wicked State”, says the professor.
Persecution is already a reality
Franklin Ferreira highlights John’s teachings in the Apocalypse: “The time of Antichrist will be a time of struggle for the souls of the earth. And the beast will demonstrate such great power that the world will be convinced of the futility of wanting to resist its evil power. As Christians, how are we preparing ourselves for this coming time of wickedness and darkness?” he asks.
“The beast has hatred against the saints, and will act against them no matter the means, but always within the scope of divine sovereignty. His primary action will be to turn the saints away from Christ, which the beast attempts with fierce persecution. It will persecute them terribly, but this does not mean that the beast can turn the saints away from their allegiance to Christ. In fact, those whom the beast had apparently defeated had obtained victory through their martyrdom. His martyrdom was his victory; they remained loyal to Christ and refused to worship the beast and the dragon,” he adds, drawing a parallel with Christ’s death on Calvary, which was initially seen by enemies of the Gospel as a victory, something that was briefly proven false: “ We are facing the last acts of rebellion from a fanaticized but already defeated enemy. The final victory was achieved on the cross by the Lamb of God who was killed in favor and in the place of the elect.”
“There is no true power in evil. The sovereign God is in control, and evil cannot accomplish anything beyond what is part of the divine purpose. And all these evils will come to an end at the time predetermined by God”, reiterates the professor, pointing out that although “Satan’s final rebellion will be undertaken in a ruthless way, through the instrumentalization of all spheres of society”, Christians should not intimidate, but on the contrary, they must not “tolerate false teachers who infiltrate the church to seduce some into committing themselves to the idolatrous institutions of the culture of death, illustrated by the defense of the approach, sanctioned by the wicked State, and who serve the beast” .
At the end of his article, Franklin Ferreira recalls that “we live only seventy years after the rise to power of monsters such as Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong”, figures who “demanded total loyalty for themselves”, in a demonstration that they acted moved by the spirit of the antichrist, which can now be seen again acting unequivocally in Western society
“Currently the spirit of Antichrist operates in the West, engulfing it in a wave of state control, paganization, imposition of a culture of death and sexual promiscuity, while in the Middle East Islam persecutes Christians with fury and Chinese communism violently suppresses the freedom of the Christian faith. Therefore, here we are all placed before the decisive moment, the choice between following the beast or the Lamb, the devil or the only true God. Who will you follow – here and now?”, he concludes.
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