THE ANTICHRIST AND THE FALSE PROPHET, CONTINUED
Revelation 13 – Part two
Today we will pick up where we were examining the nine methods listed in Revelation 13:4-8 that the Antichrist will use to secure world governments. Today we will begin with the seventh method that the Antichrist will use to secure power.
7. The seventh method the Antichrist will use to secure power will be through religious persecution (Revelation 13:7-8). (See previous studies on 7:13-14; 11:1; 11:2; 11:3-13 for discussion.)
“But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail:” (Daniel 11:7).
“And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished” (Daniel 12:7).
“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations” (Revelation 13:7).
“And he hath power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed “(Revelation 13:15).
8. The Antichrist will secure power through conquering many nations (Revelation 13:7). He shall be able to extend his power over every tribe and people and language and nation. Note the word EVERY. How will he gain world authority? Some by war and military might, but most nations will most like follow willingly and peacefully — offer their allegiance and loyalty — to a government ….
- that can protect them and assure peace.
- that can help them with great economic aid.
Note: America’s ability to do this is one example. Many nations willingly follow and are loyal to this great nation for these very reasons.
However, in the end time, the picture is that the Antichrist will offer to do even more. Keep in mind that the Antichrist will control many of the nations in the Middle East and of Europe — nations that are rich, both in oil and other products and resources.
Remember also: oil is an absolute essential to all the economies of the world. Nations and people will do anything for oil and its wealth. This is certainly one way the Antichrist could demand and gain control over the nations and people of the earth.
This is especially true if he was to appear benevolent and to offer peace and aid to a world devastated by natural disasters, social ills, and human suffering.
“I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another little horn [the antichrist], 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 7:8).
“He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but theses shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape” (Daniel 11:41-42; Ezekiel, chapters 38-39).
“…power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations” (Revelation 13:7).
9. The Antichrist will secure power through imperial worship (Revelation 13:8a).
NOTE: All the ungodly and evil people upon earth shall worship him. This points toward worship of the state in the end time. Just think of the vast numbers of people with so many different languages and cultures involved in a world government. Some unifying principle, some common spirit will be needed to hold the people together. NOTE: This principle, this spirit, will be wrapped up in the government and leader of the government (the Antichrist).
Remember: The Antichrist and his government will bring peace and economic help to the world, and will have solutions to some of the problems raging within society.
The Antichrist and his government will be represented, honored, and worshiped far more than any emperor of Rome or any Hitler, Mussolini, or any other leader in history. It will be a small leap from the honor of the people over to being idolized by the people.
In order to hold the world together, the Antichrist and his government will institute the same thing that the old Roman empire did: the worship of the state. Every citizen will be required to honor and give his first loyalty and allegiance to the state, not to God.
At first the people may possibly be allowed to worship their own gods, but the state will demand the first loyalty. Keep in mind that the state (the Antichrist) will be the central thing to the people of the world, the very thing that brought them peace and prosperity. The Antichrist sits at the top of the state and all attention focuses upon him as the god of might and provision.
NOTE: People will worship anyone or anything that brings peace and prosperity to their lives.
Remember: The worship of the state will probably be launched in the middle of the tribulation period. At that time the Antichrist will enter Jerusalem and march into the temple and declare that he and his state are to be the first objects of worship (gods). Whatever the case and whatever happens, Scripture definitely says that the Antichrist will be worshiped, that is, given the first loyalty by the people of the earth. This will be examined more fully in Revelation 13:13-17 in a later study.
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” (Matthew 24:15).
“Who opposeth and exalteth himself 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 2:4).
“…Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” (Revelation 13:4).
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).
“And he exerciseth all power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed…And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword and did live” (Revelation 13:12, 14).
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).
“And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image” (Revelation 16:2).
“And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that is determined shall be done” (Daniel 11:36).
Revelation 13:8-10) – Antichrist: There are the adversaries of the Antichrist, the TRUE BELIEVERS. True believers WILL NOT WORSHIP THE ANTICHRIST. Every believer can be loyal and can support his government fully, one hundred percent. But no true believer can give his FIRST LOYALTY to anyone other than to the true and living God.
Therefore, true believers will not worship the Antichrist, the false prophet and not his state. Note five statements made about the believers, the adversaries to the Antichrist.
- They are secure in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 3:4-6; 5:6-7).
- They are the hearers of this message, the people who heed the warning of the judgment to come and who repent and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ.
- They are the ones who know that God truly judges the evil and ungodly. The true believer knows….
- that if he leads others into captivity (whether of sin or prison), he himself shall be led into captivity.
- that if he murders, he shall be judged by God and put to death eternally.
- The true believer knows that God judges and His judgment is just — that we reap exactly what we sow. Therefore, the true believer repents of sin and turns to follow God. True believers are the ones who will be the adversaries to the Antichrist.
- The true believer is steadfast and loyal to the faith. The true believer will be easily known in the end time. He will be the person standing fast for Christ. There will be droves denying Christ, but there will also be millions turning to him, and in innumerable numbers (Revelation 7:9).
The Spirit of God will be as active as He has ever been. He will infuse believers with the strength to stand fast for Christ. As a result, millions will be martyred in the worst holocaust in human history. The scene will be both tragic and glorious at the same time. For many will be giving one of the strongest testimonies ever given for Christ: they will be suffering persecution, but, standing fast in their faith for Christ.
“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 10:22).
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58).”
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation [trial]: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” (James 1:12).
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ”(I Peter 1:13).
“For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully” (I Peter 2:19).
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world” (I Peter 5:8-9).
“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness” (2 Peter 3:17).
“Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” (Revelation 3:11).
Let’s consider some important information:
- Becoming a Christian is an instantaneous act of one’s sincere profession of faith in Jesus Christ. It is the act of being born again and this time into God’s family (John 3:16).
- This is the beginning of a new way of life known as the Christian life. It begins the instant one acknowledges Christ as Lord and Savior (see Romans 10:9-13).
- Living a Christian life is giving Jesus Christ every hour of every day and doing whatever Jesus says in God’s Word. It is demonstrating that you truly love Jesus. He said, “If you love Me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15, 23).
- Anything less is but an imitation of living a Christian life. It is obvious to other Christians whether you are giving Jesus your total existence or not, whether you are really living your Christian life as you should.
Check out: John 3:16; 3:36; 6:37; 10:25-30; 11:25; Romans 10:9-13
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