In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior… Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power. (Daniel 8:23-25 NIV)
The world is in the grip of the spirit of rebellion. This will certainly take us to a very dark place. People at all levels of society rail against authority. National leaders vigorously enforce some regulations or make rules of their own while refusing to enforce other laws. Militias prepare to combat their government. Mob-like crowds gather to shout at and physically threaten police. Sports stars boldly sit or kneel while the public address announcer invites everybody to honor their country and its flag by standing. Everyone does what is right in their own eyes; a sure sign of the end.
These are the prophesied days. These are the times when rebellion is popular.
All rebellion is against Heaven’s throne. Witness the trend to rebel against one’s God-given gender. It is now improper to ask someone their sex as in “male or female”. From here until Christ’s return, the correct phraseology will be “What is your sexual orientation?” or perhaps, “What is your preference?” Rebels want liberated from the plan and purpose of their Creator. It is a classic rebellion for the end times (cf. Psalm 2:1-3). When Jesus establishes his government, order and sanity will be restored.
Paul warned Timothy–and us–there will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents [my emphasis]… (2 Timothy 3:1-2). Rebels receive their start in the home. The bad news for rebels is that they tend to reproduce after their own kind.
Rebels will become completely wicked. This paves the way for the stern-faced king as described in Daniel 8. (See top.) The rebels’ rebel will emerge to lead the great rebellion, first against the holy people, then against the Holy One himself. We know how that turns out. Can anyone say “Armageddon”?
Among the saints, there will be no rebels. God requires full submission to divine authority and complete surrender to Him who made us and who bought us by His blood.
Currently in full motion, the rebellion or falling away will soon reach its climax. Highlighting the falling away (apostasy) will be the celebrated, those who today call themselves Christians, even “Bible-believing, born-again Christians”. They will boast of how they threw off their repressive chains.
Contrary to some so-called teaching on the last days, all-out rebellion against the Holy must occur before the man of lawlessness (a.k.a. stern-faced king) is revealed, the man doomed to destruction–and prior to the coming in glory of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3). First, rebels will be identified–perhaps by a mark–before they are eliminated.
The meek, however, shall inherit the earth. No rebel bearing the beast’s mark will stand in the presence of Our King. It will be as though they never lived.
Zion will be redeemed with justice, her penitent ones with righteousness. But rebels and sinners will both be broken, and those who forsake the LORD will perish. (Isaiah 1:27-28)