The Second “Last Thing”: The Defeat of Antichrist (Rev. 19:17-21) -- By: David J. MacLeod

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 156:623 (Jul 1999)
Article: The Second “Last Thing”: The Defeat of Antichrist (Rev. 19:17-21)
Author: David J. MacLeod


The Second “Last Thing”:
The Defeat of Antichrist (Rev. 19:17-21) *

David J. MacLeod

On September 2, 1945, aboard the Battleship Missouri, the Japanese government formally surrendered to the Allied forces. After the representatives had signed the instrument of surrender, General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in the Pacific, announced, “Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.” He then broadcast a speech to the American people. Remarkably, on that cool day in Japan, MacArthur could say, “The entire world is quietly at peace.” But there would be very few days thereafter in which that could be said. Today, over fifty years later, at any given time as many as forty nations are at war with each other. The general continued, “Men since the beginning of time have sought peace,” but all their attempts to secure it have only led them back to war. He added this, “We have had our last chance. If we do not now devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door.”

General MacArthur’s diagnosis of the problem is most significant. “The problem is basically theological. .. [and the solution] involves a spiritual. .. improvement of human character.”1 From the vantage point of Scripture, MacArthur was absolutely correct (although it could be argued that what is needed is a radical transformation of human character). The problem is a spiritual one. People are sinners. Since the days of Cain and Abel the human heart has led people to go to war against others. Each new discovery-knives, clubs, swords, gunpowder, ships, tanks, airplanes, missiles, nuclear weapons-has been used to make war,

* This is article three in an eight-part series, “Expositional Studies of the Seven ‘Last Things’ in the Book of Revelation.”

David J. MacLeod is a member of the faculty of Emmaus Bible College in Dubuque, Iowa, and is associate editor of The Emmaus Journal.

to force one nation’s designs on another or to seize their possessions. One of the earliest of all historical records, a Sumerian bas-relief from Babylon (ca. 3000 B.C.), shows soldiers fighting in close quarters, wearing helmets and carrying shields. Wars fill the history-in fact, they are often the great defining moments-of every culture, ancient and modern.2

There is a sense of hopelessness in the hearts of many people. President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke of World War II as “the war to end all wars.” More recently newspaper columnist Ellen Goodman has spoken ...

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