FALSE RELIGION – DECEPTION
Today we continue our study in Revelation Chapter 17:1. We are still considering False Religion and the deception that it brings about.
FACT: Religious Babylon (false religion) sits on MANY WATERS, that is, people and nations. As we saw last time, this means that religious Babylon will fill the earth: many races and multitudes and nations and languages will be caught up in the worship of the end time false religion.
NOTE: It is clear, millions will be caught up in the false religion of the end time. However, think about today: think about how many millions are following a false religion and worshiping idols around the world, right now, today. As we consider the false religions of today, think about the many that profess Christ and yet do not believe or teach Christ and the Word of God.
Fact: In the end times religious Babylon (false religion) will be supported by the kings, that is, by the nations and governments of the world. It is also a fact that the governments of the world will encourage the worship of religious Babylon in the end times.
NOTE: This has to be a fact if the Antichrist is going to be able to accomplish his goal of uniting the world around his END TIME religion that he will establish: that is the worship of the state and government which the Antichrist will head. This will be a religion that will act in opposition to worshiping God Himself (see Revelation 13:12-17). This will be important to see and understand how religious Babylon gains and maintains power in the end time and becomes the world-wide religion.
FACT: Religious Babylon will SEDUCE the world with the wine of her false teaching. She will entice the people of the earth to worship the Antichrist and his government and secular society.
It is important to remember that the Antichrist will present a strong argument for worshiping the state and secular society that will be extremely strong. The Antichrist and his government will bring PEACE AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY TO THE EARTH. He will also provide massive aid to help the nations and peoples of the earth during the natural disasters or judgments of God that are increasingly striking the earth (read Revelation 6:1-8: 6:12-17).
NOTE: Whole areas of the earth will be devastated by the forces of nature gone wild. The world and its people will be begging for help from some leader who has the answers. The Antichrist will be the “Johnny on the spot,” the one person and his government that will have the answers–at least for a while.
Therefore, the world will turn to him and his state for help and leadership. Many of the leaders and governments of the world will support his idea of a state religion in order to keep the masses of the world loyal to the state. The leaders of many nations will be convinced that the way to keep people supporting the government is this: they will lead the people to worship the government and to look to the government (Antichrist) to meet the needs of society.
To accomplish this, the Antichrist will make the government or state the focus of attention, the center around which all life revolves. The government or state will become the god and man will become its servant. Communism or any other socialist or dictatorial state that is totally focused upon the government will hold the power.
The point is this: in the end time there will be a world-wide religion, a religion of the state. There will be a religious Babylon, a false religion that will attempt to seduce all the people of the earth to give total control over to the state. It will happen because the false religion will have the support of the kings and leaders of the world.
Good Question: How many so-called Christians of today support major religions because of the good they seem to do? There are many Christians today who are involved with churches that do not support the church with their tithes and offerings; they would rather support do-good organizations in violation of Malachi chapter 3. They prefer a religion or church that allows worldliness, one that does not teach and preach separation.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18).
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (I John 2:15-16)
GOOD TEST FOR THE PRESENT BUT ALSO FOR THE TIME OF THE END OF THE WORLD. So, let’s give some serious thought to this.
Good Question: “How do we know if we really know God? If a person loves the world, he does not know God. Why? Because one cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). No matter what a person may feel or think, the Scripture is clear, and it is forceful in its statement: the person who loves the world does not know God. NOTE 3 THINGS:
- The test: do we love the world (I John 2:15)?
- The professing man (v. 15-16).
- The obedient man: he is immortal (v. 17).
The test is clearly stated – do we love the world? (v. 15). A believer can tell whether or not he or she knows God by taking this test (2 Corinthians 13:5). He can examine his life and see if he loves the world. What is meant by the world? Does this mean that we are not to appreciate the beauty, splendor and resources of the earth and heavens? No! For we live of the earth, and God has given us the earth and the heavens in which to live and appreciate and enjoy. What, then, does Scripture mean by the world and love not the world?
*The world means the earth and the heavens that are passing away. This world is corruptible and deteriorating and will eventually be destroyed. Therefore, believers must not become attached to the world; they must be attached to God and to heaven.
NOTE: Believers are not to love the world so much that they desire to stay here more than they desire to be with God in heaven.
- The world is a system of sinful man-made governments and societies, some good and some bad, but none perfect. Therefore, believers must respect and be loyal to the good, but reject and stand against the bad. Believers must love none of them, not to the point that they are more attached to the systems of man’s organizations than they are to God and heaven.
- The world means a system of sin and lust and evil and pride and rebellion against God. The world is full of sinful people, people who are evil and full of lust and pride; it is full of people who are in rebellion against God. Therefore, believers must not love this sinful system of the world.
A person is not to love this world, the possessions and pleasures of this sinful system of the world.
NOTE: A person is not to love this world, the possessions and pleasures of this world; he is to love God above all else. Of course, he is to appreciate and enjoy the beauty and the good things of both the earth and the heavens. But he is not to become more attached to this world than he is to God and heaven.
NOTE: The believer’s eyes are to be focused upon God, and he is to be attached to God, loving God before all else.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).
“And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away” (I Corinthians 7:31).
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14).
“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:4).
“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:24-25).
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father IS NOT in him” (I John 2:15).
“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:19).
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness (sin), but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).
“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us” (2 Thessalonians 3:6).
“Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD” (Isaiah 52:11).
I John 2:15-17 – Key ideas: Lust – Flesh – Eyes – Pride
Note that a particular man is being talked about here, the man who LOVES THE WORLD. And note in verse 17 that another man is being talked about–the man who DOES THE WILL OF GOD.
The first man is the professing man, the man who makes a false profession; the second man is the obedient man, the man who does exactly what God says. Four things are pointed out about the professing man.
1. The professing man loves the world. He loves and is attached more to this world than he is to God. Remember, the people to whom John is writing are church members.
- They have professed Christ.
- Yet John is having to charge them not to love the world.
- Some in the church had returned or were apparently about to return to the world.
- Scripture pronounces the terrible truth: “the love of the Father is not in [them]”.
- Again, note, ANY person who loves the world does not love the Father.
Three things happen to believers that cause them to return to the world and to love the world.
a. Some begin to enjoy the nature and beauty of the earth so much that they no longer worship regularly. They forsake the worship of God and the study of His Word in order to be out in nature (fishing, golfing, hiking, camping, and other forms of recreation out in nature).
b. Some become so involved in man’s government and social organizations that they become more attached and faithful to them than they do to God and His church and its mission of salvation.
c. Some become so hungry for the world and its things that they begin to return to its pleasures and They withhold what belongs to God, His tithes and offerings. In other words, they begin to steal from God. (read Malachi chapter three).
2. The professing man follows after the world. There are at least three sins of worldliness.
- There is the LUST OF THE FLESH. The FLESH has to do with feeling, touching, tasting, smelling, hearing and seeing.
- The flesh is the seat of desires and urges.
- Note that desires and urges are not wrong. A man has to have desires and urges in order to live a healthy and normal life.
- But the desires of the flesh, must be controlled (Galatians 5:16). If they are not controlled, then the flesh begins to desire and lust more and more. There are two times when the desires and urges of the flesh are wrong.
- When the flesh desires something that is directly forbidden by God. (For example, sex is not wrong within marriage, but adultery and fornication [pre-marital sex] are wrong. One helping of food is not wrong, but several helpings could be gluttony.)
- When the flesh desires and desires and consumes and consumes, then it becomes indulgence and for example, we must desire food in order to maintain life, but if the flesh desires and desires food in order to consume and indulge, then food is wrong. Too much cake is wrong. The desire has become lust, consumption, indulgence, and license.
What are the sins of the flesh? They are far more than what people usually think, far more than just the immoral sins of society. This area needs to be clearly understood by professing Christians and so we are going to do a deep dive into the sins of the flesh.
The works of the flesh are these (Galatians 5:19-21).
- Adultery: sexual unfaithfulness to husband or wife. It is also looking on a woman or a man to lust after her or him, looking at and lusting after the opposite sex whether in person, magazines, books, videos, tv or anywhere else is adultery. Imagining and lusting within the heart is the very same as committing the act as far as God is concerned.
- Fornication: a broad word including all forms of immoral and sexual acts.
It is pre-marital sex and adultery; it is abnormal sex, all kinds of sexual vice.
We will have to continue this study further in our next message. So, please read Galatians 5:19-21 before next week.
Now as we close let’s remember those who might not yet know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. If that would be your case, please read John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-13.
Fact: God loves you and wants to give you His FREE GIFT OF SALVATION. Why? Because of His love He wants you to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. Also, He wants you to know that you do not have to fear death.
FACT: Death does not have control over the true believer. That is pretty great, that’s only one example of God’s great love for you.
So, if you want to be saved, how do you it?
Study Romans 10:9-13 and do it.
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