Saturday, June 14, 2014

Where did they get that? - The Antichrist

In the book of Revelation there are three main characters who take center stage. They are:

- the Dragon,
- the Beast,
- and the False Prophet.
These three are a mockery of the Holy Trinity, which is the full expression of the one true God, revealed and existing in the:

- Father
- Son (Jesus)
- and Holy Spirit.
Satan cannot create anything on his own. He is not the creator. The best he can do is copy and corrupt what God has created. (Tweet that!

There is a lot of discussion about the book of Revelation, a lot of opinions of how to interpret it, and many different interpretations. Interestingly, we are not called to understand it. We are instructed to read it and we are told we will be "blessed" if we do and if we take it to heart. (Tweet that!) At the beginning of the book, read what John, the personal friend of Jesus Christ, wrote:
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. (Revelation 1:3, NIV)
Nevertheless, it is good for us to interpret and understand as much of this book as we can. And I firmly believe we will understand more, and more will be divinely revealed by God, as the fulfillment of these prophecies comes closer. (Tweet that!

Here are the identities of the three main players in Revelation:

  • The Dragon:
The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. (Revelation 12:9) 

  • The Beast:
The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea.It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. (Revelation 13:1)
Compare this description to Daniel's vision in Daniel 7:2-7.

It seems most people believe The Beast is the Antichrist, a human (or evil entity in the form of a human) who will rule the entire earth during the End Times.

According to Revelation 13:3 (also verses 12 and 14) this Beast receives a fatal wound but it does not die, which really "wows" many of the inhabitants of the earth causing them to follow and worship him. Here is the verse:
One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast. (Revelation 13:3)

  • The False Prophet:
He shows up in Revelation 16:13:
Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
 And he meets his end in Revelation 19:20.
But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.
Notice only those whose names are not written in the Lamb's Book of Life get the Mark of the Beast, according to Revelation 13:8:
All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb's book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.
Those written in this Lamb's Book of Life are Christians - only those who believe Jesus is the Christ. The "Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world" of course is Jesus (see John 1:35-36).

All the other people living at this future time receive the Mark of the Beast.

If you have been taught, or have come to believe, that nothing is black and white, true or false, right or wrong - we're talking "relativism" - notice that there are only two ways to go here. Is your name written in the Lamb's Book of Life? (Tweet that!) If not, here's how to get your name recorded there:

Accept the fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins. Your sins deserved death. Jesus took your death for you and is willing to give you eternal life in its place if you take this exceedingly incredible gift from him.

If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:11-12)

Scripture verses in this post are from the New International Version.

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