A book by Silvana Franco
Antichrist's Sudden Change Explained
There are some other considerations which lead us to believe that the defeat of Gog and Magog will occur near the middle of the tribulation period rather than in its early months.
In the first place, the sudden collapse of Russia as a military power explains the abrupt change in the attitude of the Beast to Israel. He will not be completely comfortable about the Middle East as long as Russia exists as a great hostile power. He will feel that he needs the friendship of the Jews. Therefore, he will pledge himself to defend Israel against the Arab nations. Apparently Russia and her allies will expect to fight a major war in the Middle East when they come down. They will be anticipating a clash not only with Israel, but also with the United Western powers. When God supernaturally destroys these invading forces before they join in battle with the armies of the Middle East, the way will be clear for Antichrist to assert himself as the absolute world ruler, and even to demand that mankind worship him. We know from Daniel 9 that this will occur in the middle of the seven-year period. This certainly indicates that Russia will be defeated very shortly before the mid-point of Daniel's seventieth week.
Antichrist will apparently produce an image of himself, place it in the temple of the Jews in Jerusalem, and demand that men worship him through this image or die. Speaking of the False Prophet, the religious leader who works with the Beast, Revelation 13:15 declares,
And he hath the power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
Jesus referred to this same incident in His Olivet discourse when He said,
When ye, therefore, shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whosoever readeth, let him understand),
Then let them who are in Judaea flee into the mountains;
Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house;
Neither let him who is in the field return back to take his clothes (Matthew 24:15-18)
Russia's crushing defeat will trigger this sudden display of "power madness" on the part of the Beast. We know that from this point on he will continue as ruler for 42 months, according to Revelation 13:5 where we read, "...and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months." This places the fulfillment of the Gog and Magog prophecy very near the middle of the tribulation period.
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