Charisma published an article on July 3, 2019, in which I suggested Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman could be the prophesied Antichrist.
The article, titled "Is the Antichrist Now on the World Stage?" has well stood the test of time. The dragon of Revelation 12 (clearly a description of Satan) assigns full authority to a beast rising from the sea taking earthly control of all political systems impacting the Holy Land. This beast is no respecter of persons or of deities other than the dragon, and the beast's rule is absolute—the ultimate authoritarian.
How is it that one such man could command worldwide influence and authority? In answer, there is an obvious scenario. We are instructed by Ephesians 6:12 that "our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."
Anyone totally committed to spiritual forces of evil, even if unaware of it, is an obvious candidate. Such power derives not only from earthly influences but from those dark powers temporarily tolerated by God in His great mission to institutionalize total freedom of choice throughout His everlasting kingdom. There can be no freedom of choice in a system that doesn't offer both rights and wrongs.
I won't repeat all the reasons I earlier selected the crown prince as my candidate. The proofs are manifold, and can be retrieved quickly here.
A Huge Question
In one of his most astounding moments these past few months, the prince set an industry record by paying $450.3 million for a Leonardo da Vinci portrait of Jesus Christ. Nearly a half-billion dollars for a painting! At first blush, one might question his sanity. But we suspect a much deeper, devilishly clever rationale.
Daniel 11:36 prophesies the rise of a demonic king who "shall do according to his will. And he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak blasphemous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper until the indignation is accomplished. For that which is determined shall be done."
How fitting! Prince Salman is gradually throwing off the restraints of conservative mullah dictates, including those of his ailing father King Salman. He has introduced significant reforms in women's rights, Saudi educational systems, tolerance of Christian traditions such as permitting Christmas celebrations, a general loosening of social "speech laws" and much more. He also engineered a new rapport of several Arab countries with Israel, an effort he still leads.
In tandem with the liberalization of Islamic laws and practices, he is flirting with the Western world in an outlandish manner. In July 2019, according to The New York Times Magazine, he was invited by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to visit the school as an honored dignitary. The article also called attention to the Saudi state's financial ties to "at least 62 other American universities."
One grand tour, according to the article, included a private session with then-President Donald Trump, who received him cordially. The prince next rented the entire 285 rooms at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills and hosted numerous luminaries such as media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Amazon's Jeff Bezos.
A City Dominated by Robots?
In pursuing his dream of building a "magical world" on the shores of the Red Sea (driven by artificial intelligence technologies), Prince Salman is working deeply with Stanford University and others to create a new $500 billion world-class economic, scientific and technological city on the shores of the Red Sea, "comprising the world's finest minds and leading companies, not to mention a million inhabitants."
According to journalist Wael Hussein in a report on the main contractor, Neom Company, the city's first phase will be completed by 2025. The 5-year-old Saudi-owned company was formed specifically for this one project. Very significantly, several of the company's managing directors are women (unheard of in much of the Arab world).
Work has already begun with a commercial airport, staff residences and offices now in operation. Neom has also awarded contracts to build and operate three new residential areas for construction workers with a capacity for 30,000 people. Though difficult to verify, one Saudi website claims the company comprises up to 5,000 people assigned to the project.
Neom's founders also claim the city will be so advanced that robots will outnumber humans. The corporate website boasts: "NEOM is not about building a smart city, it is about building the first cognitive city. Everything will have a link with artificial intelligence. Amongst other things, it will also be a state-of-the-art center for advanced manufacturing and medical innovation, spearheading genetic engineering efforts to improve the human body."
In this writer's estimation, the promise of genetic engineering advances is the scariest aspect of this other-worldly city residing for the moment primarily in the prince's overblown imagination.
An Impressive Deception
All the above being said, it is clear the soon-to-be king of Saudi Arabia is wooing the Western world by establishing liberal rule in the ancient society. True to the prophecies in the books of Daniel and Revelation, he is rejecting all gods. The rulers over Saudi Arabia having always been leaders in the teaching, practices and enforcement of Islam, but Mohammed bin Salman is certainly going astray through his progressive romance with a "pagan" world.
By buying and hanging a half-billion-dollar painting of the Christian God in his palace, he is also playing to gain at least attention of the world's single-largest religious population. With controlling power over the price and supply of world oil stocks, accompanied by a presumed general acceptance among 2.383 billion Christians, along with 1.907 billion Muslims and 15 million Jews, he certainly is building a huge platform from which to launch a good shot at gaining general supernatural influence over the rest of the planet as well.
The prophesied head wound has already been delivered via his mysterious rise to power as the sixth son of the sixth Saudi dynasty bearing a sixth sense of inner destiny ushered in by the tragic deaths and disappearances of senior rivals—all of it exacerbated by the recent ritualized death of journalist Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi. But these trespasses have been largely forgiven and forgotten. President Biden's nascent efforts to chastise the prince are mere window dressing for public consumption. The world's dependence on Saudi oil prices and supply dominate all such discourse.
It doesn't hurt that Saudi Arabia is also the world's largest buyer of U.S. military equipment and weaponry.
Despite the current slaps to the wrist, the wound to the head of the Arab world continues to heal, and the prince remains in active control. The next scene in Revelation is the arrival of the second beast, who magnifies and celebrates the first through powers of vile darkness. I doubt the wait will be long in duration.
The Arabian prince of this world, enervated by the prince of darkness, sees no personal barriers to total control. He has the inheritance of hundreds of millions in personal bank accounts, prime ownership of the $330 billion annual revenue oil company Aramco, the inherited influence of royalty, the youthful energy and intellect, hubris and moxie in proportions translating to unlimited self-confidence. Whatever he imagines, he has the means, the self-assured legitimacy and the ruthlessness to accomplish it.
As Shakespeare might say: "The world is his oyster and ripe to be swallowed up!"
Considering he headed the Saudi armed forces while barely out of his teens, Salman might justifiably view his inherited horizons as unlimited. The saga is unfolding quickly, and those of us watchmen blessed with the knowledge of what is happening must step up our sounding of the shofars.
The end times are here.
Ron Dee Mallett of Milliken, Colorado, studied business, journalism, economics and mass communications at Denver, Colorado, and Stanford Universities as a Ford Fellow. An Air Force veteran, news reporter and retired multinational corporate executive, he later served as director of jail, prison, nursing home and Mexico outreaches, as well as intercession ministries for over 21 years.
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