Antichrist – Beast of Revelation
Last week we did not have enough time to finish. The following are some important things to consider:
The two witnesses are persecuted and martyred by the beast, that is, the Antichrist (see Revelation 11:7; 13:1-10). For further study see Matthew 24:15 AND 2 Thessalonians 2:4-9).
NOTE: This is the first mention of the beast or Antichrist by name in the book of Revelation.
NOTE: Consider what the very first mention of the Antichrist is:
- his origin,
- the fact that he will come from the devil himself,
- He will come from the bottomless pit of hell (see bottomless pit – Revelation (9:2). The idea is that he will be a murdering tyrant just like the devil (John 8:44),
- His desire will be to assassinate the two witnesses,
- But he will not be able to touch them until they have finished their testimony,
- God will personally protect them,
- However, the Antichrist will war against them; that is, he will plot and do all he can to discredit their witness (much like he works against ministers in the Age of Grace, which is why God gives to ministers and faithful Christians the armor of God, Ephesians 6:10-20),
- As soon as the testimony of the two witnesses is finished, after three and one-half years (v. 3), the Antichrist will be successful as he will assassinate the two witnesses, and
- What happens shows how effective their message will have been. Many throughout the world, especially the leaders, will hate them. Their deaths will become an international affair. The leaders will leave their bodies lying in the streets of Jerusalem for three days. Note how Scripture graphically describes the event:
“And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall REJOICE over them, and make MERRY, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwell on the earth” (Revelation 11:9-10).
- The idea is that the whole world will witness the scene. This of course points toward international reporting of the event by the media or television.
- Note that gifts will be exchanged among people because they are so pleased to see these two witnesses assassinated.
- This could be pointing to a political plot by the Antichrist and a professional assassin.
- The gifts would be the payoff of the assassins.
- It is difficult to see what the gifts would be if they are not political payoffs from the Antichrist to the leaders of some government for having assassinated the two witnesses.
- The point of the verses is the political intrigue of the Antichrist and other government leaders (verses 7-10).
- They kill these two great servants of God, and they have so much political power that they can kill two preachers with worldwide influence and leave their bodies in the streets for three days (verses 8-9).
- Just picture a few of the greatest religious leaders in the world today. Then imagine some world leader murdering them and having so much power that he could leave their bodies lying in the streets for three days. This gives some idea of the enormous power the Antichrist will have.
Now let’s move to Revelation 11:7-10:
We have seen that the whole world will see the two witnesses and the attack of the Antichrist. Now we want to dig a little deeper into some things concerning the two witnesses and the Antichrist’s actions to eliminate them.
The point of Revelation 11:9-10 is that the whole world will witness the scene. As we considered this area, everything points toward international reporting, by some kind of media, radio or television. We also reminded ourselves that even though the Antichrist desires to assassinate the two witnesses, he will not be able to touch them until they have finished their testimony.
We also considered the power to influence of the religious leaders world-wide who left the bodies of the two witnesses lying in the street for three days (v. 8-9).
Another significant fact: Jerusalem is called Sodom and Egypt. This is describing the spiritual condition of Jerusalem in the end time.
- Jerusalem will be as Sodom: a city of worldliness, immorality, and shameful sin; a city who would not receive the messengers of God (Genesis 19:4-10).
- Jerusalem will be as Egypt: a nation that enslaved and killed God’s people (Exodus 1:22).
(Revelation 11:7) The Antichrist:
Good question: “Who is the Antichrist?” Scripture never really uses the term Antichrist to refer to the great “man of sin” who is to appear in the end time. It does refer to false teachers as Antichrists (I John 2:22). However, down through the centuries, believers have always referred to the coming “man of sin” as the Antichrist. Why? Because he is to stand so opposed to Christ and fiercely persecute believers. He will be the ever embodiment of evil against Christ and against the followers of Christ. He will be the one man who will be so against Christ that he can actually be called THE ANTICHRIST.
Now who is the Antichrist? What Scripture reveals is fascinating yet horrifying. When we look back over human history and think about some of the evil men who have terrorized and massacred millions, it is utterly frightening.
Think of Nero, Hitler, and Stalin of human history. And then think what would have happened if they had been dictators of the whole world. The death of millions would have soared to tens and tens of millions. Such is the picture of horror and havoc to be wrought by the world leader, the Antichrist. His horror will be so frightening that one of his names is simple THE BEAST. Note what Scripture calls him.
- He is the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION prophesied by Christ:
“When ye therefore see the abomination of desolation (the antichrist), spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the Holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” (Matthew 24:15).
- He IS the MAN OF SIN prophesied by Paul:
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that MAN OF SIN be revealed, THE SON OF PERDITION [THE ANTICHRIST]; WHO OPPOSETH AND EXALTETH HIMELF ABOVE ALL THAT IS CALLED God, or that is worshipped; so that HE AS GOD SITTETH in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).
- He is the little horn prophesied by Daniel:
“And he (the little horn, the Antichrist) shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time” (Daniel 7:25).
- He is the very embodiment of Satan himself, the man of lawlessness who comes out of the bottomless pit of hell itself.
“And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another” (Daniel 7:3).
“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things” (Daniel 7:7-8).
“The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwells on the earth shall wonder, whose names WERE NOT written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is” (Revelation 17:8).
- He is the ruler who also will make war against God’s people and slaughter them.
“And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them,” (Daniel 7:20-21).
“And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time” (Daniel 7:25).
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;…And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, ‘What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they?’ And I said unto him,’ Sir, thou knowest’. And he said to me, ‘These are they which came out of the great tribulation and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’ ” (Revelation 7:9, 13-14).
- He is the world ruler who will conquer the world.
“Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces” (Daniel 7:23).
“And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast” (Revelation 17:12-13).
WILLIAM BARLCAY DESCRIBES HIM WELL:
“Just as the Christ is the Holy One and the Anointed King of God, so Antichrist is the Unholy One and King of all evil. Just as the Christ, the Messiah, is the incarnation of God and goodness, so Antichrist is the incarnation of the Devil and of evil. Just as the Christ is the champion of God, so Antichrist is the champion of every force in the universe which is opposed to God” (The Revelation of John, Vol. 2, p. 70).
(Revelation 11:11-12) – Witnesses of Revelation: The two witnesses are resurrected and caught up to heaven. This will be one of many spectacular events of the last days.
The breath of God will be breathed into the dead bodies of the two slain witnesses. They will then stand to their feet, and when they do, fear will strike the hearts of all those who see them [the whole world].
Just as the whole world had witnessed their deaths, more than likely the whole world will see their resurrection. The world had witnessed their dead bodies lying in the streets and so the cameras of the media will be zeroing in on them when they rise. We are not told, but the idea being conveyed seems to be that the whole world may or may not see them.
Many Jews will be affected by what happens (v. 13). Whatever the case, imagine the amazement when the two witnesses begin to ascend up into heaven. The sight is bound to make an enormous impact upon those who witness it.
As we complete this part of our study we want to think about God, who He is, and what He means to us. His relationship to us depends upon whether we have accepted His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as our personal Savior (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13).
GOOD QUESTION, “Have you praised god as you studied?” True praise challenges us to leave the old paths of the human heart behind and to reach for something beyond ourselves, giving ourselves up to God. Have you thought about true praise that only can be given by a human being when they are a child of God?
God’s Word commands us to “take delight” in Him.
However, be honest. Love prompts action. Our action by accepting Christ reflects what God did for us in the incarnation, His birth. Because of love and for the sake of restoring our relationship to God, in the person of Jesus, He came near. Psalms 37:4 tells us that as we delight in the Lord He awakens desires within us that reflect His heart.
As I said before, God’s Word commands us to “take delight” in Him. The words of Psalm 37:4 are in the imperative. The command confronts us in our complacency and calls us to a higher way of thinking. That isn’t easy—it costs us something.
God never leaves us where we are.
With every effort we make to draw near to God, we are promised He will come close to us (James 4:8).
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”
Dare to delight in God (through Jesus Christ) and He not only gives you your heart’s desire, HE BECOMES IT.
Don’t sit on the bank looking at the river of life going by, jump into real life by taking God at His Word. Dive into His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 3:16).
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