The book of Revelation predicts that before Jesus’ return a world dictator known as the Antichrist will rise to power and rule for seven years. He will abolish all religions and insist that the world worship him. He and his chief minister, whom the book of Revelation refers to as the “false prophet,” will also institute the “mark of the Beast” in an effort to exercise total economic and political control.
The mark of the Beast will begin to be enforced halfway through the Antichrist’s seven-year rule, at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. That conclusion is based on the following Bible passages:
When He came to our world nearly 2,000 years ago, He and His message of love and salvation were rejected by the leaders of His own people. Yes, they wanted a savior, a messiah, a great king, but not one born in a barn and raised as a poor carpenter, who chose humble fishermen, tax collectors, drunks, and prostitutes as His friends and followers. Few of the rich and powerful of His day were interested in the freedom of spirit He offered to those who would receive the truth He spoke. They only wanted freedom from Rome and Roman taxes. Nor did they desire the eternal treasures and rewards He promised to all who would believe in and follow Him. They wanted a messiah, a king who could make them a wealthy and powerful material kingdom there and then.
At first the Antichrist will appear to be the political superman the world has been waiting for, because he will bring about world peace and economic stability. Most people will see him as a peacemaker and a wise and winsome popular leader. “He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest [richest] places” and “obtain the kingdom by flatteries”—or “intrigue,” as the Hebrew chalaqlaqqah is sometimes translated (Daniel 11:24,21 KJV).