There have been many "rise and fall" books written over the years, each one dealing with the history of a civilization, an ideology, or a person that has had a marked impact on the world. This is also a history book—but one with a difference: Although the history covered in this book has already been recorded in celestial annals, it has yet to occur on Earth. It is about the inevitable rise and the spectacular fall of the man who would rule the world—the Antichrist!
Who is this mysterious master of evil—whom the Bible calls the Antichrist, the Beast, the Evil One, the Man of Sin, and the Son of Perdition (Hell)—who is destined to stride onto and dominate the world stage in the last seven years before the return of Jesus Christ? His identity has been a matter of speculation for millennia, and although in this book we won't be able to point to someone and say, "There he is! That's him!" the Bible does tell us a lot about him. It is incumbent on us to understand all we can about him because he will, perhaps even soon, be leading a one-world government. That means he could be in power over you and me.
The major characters and events of that future period that is commonly called the Endtime will be described in this book and its sequel, From the End to Eternity. While the Bible is clear on certain major events, there are still many details that are open to conjecture. The Bible is often cryptic in what it says about some events and we will not clearly understand some of the things it is talking about until they happen. This book is intended to provide a foundation of understanding to its readers so that as the Endtime events begin to transpire, they can be aware of what is happening and know how to react.
From all that the Scripture indicates, it looks like this coming one-world leader will rise to power by intrigue and clever deceit (Daniel 11:21,23). By his clever political maneuvering, he will temporarily solve some of the world's most pressing problems, and will broker a remarkable pact between the conflicting powers, ideologies, and religions of the world.
However, the price to pay will finally be not only compliance with the world government and the deprivation of personal rights, freedoms, and religious liberty, but the Bible teaches that the eventual aim of the leader of this global government is to be worshiped as God by his followers.
Why is it important that we are aware of the details of the Antichrist and his reign? How is all this relevant to us? After all, many Christians believe, as popularized by the widely sold Left Behind series of books written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, that God will take them to Heaven and out of this world before the reign of the Antichrist. However much we might want to avoid that man and his reign of terror, many scriptures indicate that Christians alive on Earth at the time the Antichrist assumes power will, barring their deaths, remain on Earth during his reign. Sadly, many Christians will not be prepared for what is to come and will not be the witnesses—that is, the examples and evangelists of their faith—that God wants them to be during that time. Instead of being beacons of light and understanding, they run the risk of being as hopelessly confused as the rest of humanity. (See Appendix 1.)
Over 500 years before Christ, the prophet Daniel predicted that "the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. And those of the people who understand shall instruct many" (1 Daniel 11:32–33). Yet if we are not cognizant of what is to happen, and thus prepared to fulfill the role God has for us during those times, how will we be a part of the fulfillment of that Scripture? God has commissioned as many as know Him to be numbered among the strong that do these great exploits and instruct many. Let's not fail Him. Let's immerse ourselves in the study of the Scriptures so we will understand and thus be able to carry His standard through the years of the Antichrist's rule to the day when Jesus will appear in the clouds to take us to Heaven, there to receive the greatest accolade of all time when He says, "Well done, good and faithful servant; … enter into the joy of your Lord" (Matthew 25:23).