In his book, The Antichrist, 1922-3, A. W. Pink expressed his views of this Man of Lawlessness. At this time Pink held what he described as Historicist and Futurist perspectives on end times. He later moderated his futurist views. However, in The Antichrist, he illumines an idea that transcends these perspectives.
Pink expounds on this passage of scripture,
…They are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he does come, he must remain only a little while. As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth, but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction. And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast.
Revelation 17:10–12 (English Standard Version)
The native monarchy of Nimrod, the theocracy of Israel, the despotic authority of Nebuchadnezzar, the aristocratic monarchy of Persia, and the military monarchy of Alexander and his successors, had all passed away when John beheld this vision. All these methods had been tried — none had been found to answer even the purposes of man; and now another had arisen, the half military, half popular monarchy of the Caesars, — the iron empire of Rome. ‘Five have fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh he must continue a little space’.
That other (though it cannot yet be said to have come so as to fulfill this verse)1,2 and, with one brief exception [i.e.., the eighth kingdom], the last form that is to be exhibited before the end shall come, and it is under this form that the system of Babylon is matured. It is obvious that a monarchy, guided not by the people numerically, but by certain classes of the people, and those classes determined by the possession of property, must be the form adapted for the accumulation of wealth, and the growth of commercial power; for it gives (which pure democracy has ever failed to do), the best security for property without unduly fettering the liberty of individual enterprise…
1 It will not have come in the sense of this verse, until it pervades the Roman world. When all the ten kingdoms have been constitutionalized, it may be said to have come.
2 We are rather inclined to believe that the ‘seventh’ is commercialism, that is, the moneyed-interests in control — A.W.P.
…Everyone who has a general knowledge of the past, and who is at all in touch with political conditions in the world today, knows full well the radical change which the last two or three centuries have witnessed. For a thousand years the Church (the professing church) controlled the governments of Europe. Following the Reformation, the aristocracy (the nobility) held the reins. During the first half of last century democratic principles obtained more widely. But in the last two or three generations the governmental machines of this country and of the leading European lands have been run by the Capitalists. Of late, Labor has sought to check this, but thus far with little success.
In the light of Zech. 5 and Rev. 18, present-day conditions are profoundly significant. It is commerce which is more and more dominating the policies and destinies of what is known as the civilized world. “If we turn our eyes abroad upon the world, we shall find that the one great object before the nations of the earth today is this image of commerce, drawing them with all the seductive influence a siren woman might exercise upon the heart of men. The one great aim on the part of each is to win the favor of this mighty mistress. The world powers are engaged in a Titanic struggle for commercial supremacy. To this end mills are built, factories founded, forests felled, lands sown, harvests reaped, and ships launched. Because of this struggle for mastery of the world’s market the nations reach out and extend their borders” (Dr. Haldeman)
Contemporary Globalism seems to be the fulfillment of this titanic struggle for commercial supremacy. It reminds us of Matthew 6:24,
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
In humility, Pink writes,
Doubtless, there are many particulars respecting [Antichrist’s relations with Jews in Palestine] and all other related subjects, which will not be cleared up until the prophecies concerning them have been fulfilled. We, today, occupy much the same position with regard to the predictions concerning the Antichrist, as the Old Testament saints did to the many passages which foretold the coming of the Christ. Their difficulty was to arrange those passages in the order they were to be fulfilled, and to distinguish between those which spoke of Him in humiliation and those which foretold His coming glory. A similar perplexity confronts us.
To ascertain the sequence of the prophecies relating to the Antichrist is a real problem. Even when we confine ourselves to those passages which speak of him in his connections with Israel, we have to distinguish between those which concern only the godly remnant, and those which relate to the great apostate mass of the Nation; and, too, we have to separate between those prophecies which concern the time when Antichrist is posing as the true Christ, and those which portray him in the final stage of his career, after he has thrown off his mask of religious pretension.
It is important to realize that Pink’s work was written before The New Deal, The Holocaust, the establishment of Israel, the fall of the Soviet Union, the rise of China, and the Abraham Accords. The Antichrist contains many insights and nuggets of truth but certainly is not authoritative.
Satan* is persuading many professing Christians that it is their duty to be well informed concerning current events and induces them to waste much time in reading secular literature and in listening in to the radio in order to be so. The “Signs of Times” men are zealously raking over all the “evil” they can find in the moral, political and social realms, as well as in the International Situation; all of which is contrary to Romans 16:19! And what good is accomplished thusly? Not a particle, either for themselves or anyone else…
You and I have no responsibility in the running (government) of this world, nor does He require us to take the burden of such government upon our shoulders. HE is ruling it directing all its affairs. There we may, and should, rest. Your business and my business is to be “wise unto that which is GOOD.”
… Let us prayerfully endeavor to pay more heed to that injunction. Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report … Think on THESE things (Phil. 4:8.)
* And note the very next verse – Rom. 16:20 – opens with the word “And”, after which reference is made directly to “Satan”!
To this stern advice, the A. W. Pink archivist writes,
It is probably wise to note that in the opening exhortation, Pink is not necessarily arguing against being generally aware of current events which are taking place, however he is pushing back against the suggestion that such things should so engross the Christian.
…It is with no doubt in my mind that Pink is notably pushing back against the overemphasis on the end time, or eschatological, prophesying that so dominated early-to-mid 20th century evangelicalism.
What comes to mind, in summary, is,
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16 (ESV)
Therefore, as we make ourselves generally aware of world events, especially this ongoing global economic struggle among the nations, we should not fret, but trust in God’s sovereignty, grace, and mercy and continuously ask Him who laughs at the raging nations for true justice.
Holocaust Survivor Kitty Werthmann’s Entire Speech, 33 minutes, YouTube, Jan 13, 2021, Suzanne Wheeler