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Who Is the Antichrist? | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 11, 2021 3:00 am

Who Is the Antichrist? | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 11, 2021 3:00 am

The Antichrist is real, and the Bible describes him in great detail. In this podcast episode, Pastor Greg Laurie reveals what we should understand about this mysterious figure—and why he won’t prevail. Listen in to find out more! 

It’s the latest message in our series Revelation: A Book of Promises. 

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When you support the podcast this month, we’ll send you a copy of Pastor Greg’s new biography, Billy Graham: The Man I Knew. Just go to harvest.org/support.

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Notes

There are over 100 passages that detail the origin, nationality, career, character, kingdom and final doom of Antichrist.

Harnessing economic and technological power, Antichrist will lead a one-world government, economy, and religion.

1. The Antichrist is energized and empowered by Satan himself.

“And he was given authority to continue for forty-two months” (Revelation 13:5).  

The term beast describes his character.

2. He is coming to deify Satan. 

3. Antichrist is coming to defy and take the place of Jesus. 

4. He is coming to kill Christians. 

5. Antichrist is coming to dominate the globe. 

“The man of sin” (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

“The wicked one” (2 Thessalonians 2:8).

The Antichrist will not act alone; he has a “sidekick,” the False Prophet. 

Satan imitating God.

The Antichrist masquerading as the Son.

The False Prophet masquerading as the Holy Spirit. 

One of the signs of the times will be a great apostasy or falling away. 

“Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2).

We should be aware of and avoid:

1. Any move away from the uniqueness of Christ as the only way to God.

2. Any move toward embracing other faiths as being on the same level as Christianity.

3. Any move away from Biblical exposition.

The False Prophet will be able to perform “signs and wonders.” 

Antichrist will even have a mock death and resurrection like Jesus. 

Antichrist will exploit this “resurrection” to cause people to worship Satan himself. 

Are you an antichrist?

You either follow Jesus Christ, or are in effect, antichrist.

 Scripture Referenced

2 Thessalonians 2:9

Daniel 7:7

Matthew 24:12

2 Thessalonians 2:3

1 Timothy 4:1–2

2 Timothy 4:3

1 John 2:22

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Hey everybody, Greg Laurie here. You're listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, and my objective is to deliver, hopefully, compelling practical insights in faith, culture, and current events from a biblical perspective. To find out more about our ministry, just go to our website, harvest.org.

So thanks for joining me for this podcast. Hey everybody, let's grab our Bibles now and turn to the book of Revelation chapter 13. Now for you Bible students out there, you know what's in Revelation 13, don't you? That is a chapter that deals in great detail with this coming world leader called in the Bible, the Antichrist. And that's the title of my message, Who is the Antichrist? Type the word Antichrist into your search engine on Google, and you will find 13 million options. Who is the Antichrist?

He's a real person. He is effectively the son of Satan himself. He's called the beast, the son of perdition, the wicked one, the lawless one. And he is spoken of many times in the Bible. And we all know, I think, even people that are not familiar with the Bible, they know what his number is, right?

666. You can even get some shoes to go with that. A rapper, Lil Nas X, just came out with a pair of shoes. They were called Satan Shoes, and he took a pair of Nike shoes, and they were customized by some company, and they had 666 pairs that sold.

By the way, they sold in under a minute. And according to the description of them, there was a drop of human blood in every soul. How did they pull that off exactly? Did some guy have to cut himself and put the drop of blood?

Who knows? But this is supposed to be some big controversy, and I think Lil Nas X sold a lot of shoes with a pretty clever promotion campaign. But it's interesting because on the shoes, the reference, Luke 10, 19 is there, which is a statement of Jesus where he says, I beheld Satan fall as lightning from heaven.

So that kind of undoes the whole evil mystique of the shoe, in my opinion. It's sort of like you're pointing out the fact that Satan has fallen. But listen, Satan is a real spirit being.

I think people think he's a joke, and they can just goof around with these things. They envision him as a guy with red skin and pointed ears and horns, of course, and a pointed tail and a pitchfork, but Satan is no joke. And the Antichrist is no joke either. When he comes on the scene, he will not be dressed in all black with steam rising in the background with the Darth Vader theme playing in the background wearing Lil Nas' shoes.

No, no. The Antichrist will be charismatic. He'll be articulate. He'll be intelligent. He'll be what we would describe as a great world leader, a statesman. He'll be magnetic. He'll have everything that you would hope to have in a leader, and not only that, but he will do what no other leader has ever been able to do.

He'll be able to solve the Middle East peace issues and get everybody to sign a peace treaty that they will actually abide by for three and a half years. You see, when Antichrist comes on the scene, he doesn't come off as this evil person that he actually is. He comes on the scene as a peacemaker. But in reality, he's a troublemaker, and it's just a ruse to get people to follow him, and then he will ultimately show his true colors. There was a poll done by US News and World Report that revealed that 49% of Americans say they expect to see an Antichrist sometime in the future. In a Newsweek poll that was done, 19% of Americans believe that Antichrist is on Earth now, and in the same poll, half of those who accept Bible prophecy believe Antichrist is alive right now as well. Things are certainly ripe for the emergence of this leader. Now, I know some of you are thinking, Greg, why would I want to hear a Bible study on the Antichrist?

Why should I even give a passing thought to this individual? Here's the simple answer. There are 100 passages in the Bible that detail the origin, nationality, career, character, kingdom, and final doom of Antichrist. He's spoken of here in the book of Revelation, of course.

He's also referenced in the book of Daniel as well as 2 Thessalonians. The sheer volume of scripture dealing with this coming world leader should be enough for us to find out who he is and what it is he has come to do. But as I read about his final doom, I'm reminded of the fact that God is more powerful, he will judge this evil man, and God is in control. We're reminded again that we win in the end. Remember this, number one, God is sovereign over all human history.

Let me repeat that again. God is sovereign over all human history. Listen, history is his story, so nothing is catching God by surprise. None of the things happening in the headlines of newspapers and news sites are surprising to God. Number two, world history is a blip on the screen of eternity. God looks at the big picture. And third and lastly, God will have the final word, and it will be very good. I'm gonna come back to those three points at the end of my message.

So, let me start with a question. Who is this man called the Antichrist, the beast, the wicked one, the son of perdition? Well, the answer is, he is, as I already referenced, effectively the son of Satan. If Satan ever had a son, this is him.

The only man even close to Antichrist in the Bible would be Judas Iscariot, because we read that Satan entered Judas' heart, but the Antichrist is even worse than Judas. And I believe the coming of Antichrist is getting much closer, so if the coming of Antichrist is close, the coming of Jesus Christ for his church is even closer. You know when we see Christmas decorations? When do we see them now?

What, probably August? It seems that way, doesn't it? I mean, here come the Christmas decorations. So when I see Christmas decorations, it reminds me Thanksgiving is close. You say, no, Greg, they remind you that Christmas is close. Well, true, but if Christmas is close, Thanksgiving is even closer, right?

Because it precedes Christmas. In the same way, if Antichrist is close, then the coming of Jesus for his church is even closer, because Antichrist cannot be revealed until the church, and by the church I mean true followers of Jesus Christ, we will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and then this wicked world leader will emerge on the scene. So let's turn in our Bibles now to Revelation chapter 13. I'm gonna read quite a few verses, so read along with me. Revelation 13, starting in verse 1.

John, remember, he's on the island of Patmos. He's been given this revelation, which means the unveiling of the future. So this is what John is seeing, and he writes, Then I stood on the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast rising out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns were ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard. His feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion.

The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. Verse 3. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound which was healed, and all the world marveled and followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him? And he was given a mouth, speaking great things and blasphemies, and was given authority to continue for forty-two months.

That's three and a half years. He opened his mouth and blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, his tabernacle, and those that dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. His authority was given to him over every tribe, tongue, and nation, and all who dwell in the earth will worship him whose names have not been written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Then John writes, If anyone has an ear to hear, let him hear. Wow. Now you read this, and it looks like something out of a sci-fi movie, right? There's a film out right now, Godzilla versus Kong. I saw it, actually. I actually like the movie.

What can I say? I've always been a fan of Godzilla and King Kong, though the problem was I didn't know who to root for in this movie because, you know, I like them both. And it seems like they've shrunk Godzilla. Godzilla used to be a lot larger in those old movies that I watched when I was a kid. Now he's like the same size of King Kong, so they're fighting it out.

And as you think about John's description, it sounds similar. The creature with multiple heads and so forth that reminds me of the so-called titans from these other Godzilla movies. One was called Ghidorah.

He has many heads. And then there's my favorite, Mothra. I mean, is that an intimidating name for a monster? Mothra? It's effectively a giant moth flying around, which would be terrifying for my wife because my wife has a fear of moths. I think when she was a little girl, a moth got in her hair and it freaked her out. And now she sees a moth anywhere, she has to run out of the room screaming.

Years ago, I was with my wife, Kathy, in China, and I'm walking along and she's walking toward me and there was what I thought, a bird on the ground, and I looked and it wasn't a bird. It was the biggest moth I've ever seen. This moth was this big. So I was going, whoa, look at that moth. It was Mothra. And I looked at it and I said, hey, Kathy, come here and look at the little bird.

He's so cute. Oh, really? She's coming. And all of a sudden the moth takes flight and he was so big. I'm going, whoa, even I can have backed off. And some guy just steps over from the side and goes...

It's really gross. Now what John is doing here is he's speaking symbolically. And for the Bible student, we've seen this before, especially in the book of Daniel. To understand the beast, you need to understand its father. And to understand the antichrist, you need to know more about Satan. See, this is symbolic of different things that I'll identify for you in a moment. But this coming world leader, the antichrist, is empowered by the devil himself. 2 Thessalonians 2 says, the coming of the lawless one is based on Satan's working with all kinds of miracles, signs, and wonders.

So you might say, like father, like son. So here in Revelation 13, we have a lion, a bear, and a leopard. If we go back to the book of Daniel, we see that this has been mentioned before. Each of these creatures, the lion, the bear, and the leopard, are representative of world kingdoms. First there is the lion. In fact, ancient Babylon was represented by a winged lion. This is speaking of the kingdom of Babylon, who were overcome by the Medo-Persian empire, represented by the bear.

The bear has massive strength. He was able to overcome Babylon. And you remember, the last of the Babylonian kings, Belshazzar, saw the writing on the wall.

Remember that story? He was having a big party, and they were mocking the God of Israel. And there was a writing on the wall, a hand, a disconnected hand, writing on the plaster of the wall.

And the message was, you've been weighed in the balances, and you've been found lacking. And right outside of the walls of the kingdom of Babylon were the Medo-Persians that came in and established their kingdom. And then their leader, Darius, was in charge. And Daniel survived all of this, amazingly.

He was an old man at this point. And it was under King Darius that Daniel was sent to the lion's den, and he survived that. But that's that kingdom, the Medo-Persian empire. The Medo-Persians were overtaken by the Greeks under the direction of the great military tactician, Alexander the Grape, symbolized by, not the grape, the great. Alexander the Grape, he was the conqueror of the vineyards, you see, but the conqueror of the Medo-Persians was Alexander the Grape.

I said it again, the great, the great. And so, symbolized by a leopard. So a bear is a powerful creature.

A leopard is a fast creature with great speed. Alexander and his forces just spread across the planet. The story is told that when he was still a young man, he realized there were no kingdoms left to conquer, and he openly wept. But now Daniel reveals one more kingdom from which the final anti-Christ would emerge. He says in Daniel 7, 7, in my vision that night I saw a fourth beast, terrifying, dreadful, and very strong. It devoured and crushed its victims with huge iron teeth and trampled what was left beneath its feet.

It was different from all the other beasts, and it had 10 horns. This is a symbol of Rome. The Romans overtook the Greeks. They took a lot of Greek culture, adapted it, even a form of government. But Rome was a military machine like the world had never seen before. And no other nation really conquered Rome. Babylon was conquered by the Medo-Persians. The Medo-Persians were conquered by the Greeks. But the Greeks were conquered by Rome, but no one ever conquered Rome.

But Rome effectively collapsed beneath its own weight. And it is from the ruins that this phoenix will rise, if you want to call it that. It's from the ruins of this that the anti-Christ, this coming world leader, emerges on the scene in the last days. The pharaohs, Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, the Caesars, Napoleon, even Hitler, were all precursors to the most evil man that has ever emerged on the scene, this anti-Christ who will harness economic and technological power. He'll form a one-world government, a one-world economy, and a one-world religion. So here's five things you need to know about the anti-Christ if you're taking notes. Number one, I've already mentioned this.

I'll repeat it again. The anti-Christ is energized and empowered by Satan himself. Verse two of Revelation 13 says the dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And we're already told in Revelation that the dragon is Satan. So Satan gives to his son, if you will, anti-Christ, the power to do what he does. And it is the devil's to give. You remember during the temptation in the wilderness, Jesus was shown all the kingdoms of the world by Satan in a moment of time. And Satan said, all of this is mine, and I can give it to whomever I want to give it to. And if you will worship me, it will be yours. This has always been Satan's issue. This once beautiful, powerful angel in heaven rebelled against God.

Why? Because he wanted to be God. Over in Isaiah, it says that he said, I will be like God.

I will be like the Most High. So now he's saying to Jesus, why don't you worship me right now? And of course, Jesus resisted that temptation. But he's taken now his authority, and he's giving it to anti-Christ. So Jesus Christ wouldn't go with it, but anti-Christ will. So Satan is authorizing and empowering this individual. But understand, he's given permission. Look at Revelation 13, 5.

He was given authority to continue for three and a half years. So the Lord says, I'm going to let you do this, but you have three and a half years. And God knows that Satan is going to hang himself. God's giving Satan enough rope to hang himself. The same thing happened to the devil at the cross.

His plan backfired. He filled the heart of Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus. He orchestrated all these events to put an end to the ministry of the Son of God. And when it was all said and done, he helped to bring about God's purpose.

Because the Bible says, it pleased the Father to bruise the Son. So the devil was helping God accomplish his goal. I heard a story about a man who owned a palatial estate on a huge piece of land. He was so wealthy he had his own personal forest. And in the midst of that forest was a towering redwood tree, taller than all of the others. He loved that tree. He would come down and visit that tree every day and just look at it and admire it. Well this guy had a neighbor who was jealous. He wasn't as successful as that wealthy man.

And he hated that wealthy man for all of his success. So one day that jealous neighbor decided he was going to climb over the fence and cut down that towering tree. So as night fell he climbed over with a saw and he began to saw the mighty redwood.

And he was shocked by how thick it was and how long it was taking. Sweat was pouring down his face but he was determined to cut that tree down. And now the morning has come and the sun is rising and this jealous neighbor is still cutting away at this tree. And he looks in the distance and here comes the owner of the great estate with some other people with him.

And he's thinking this is perfect. He's going to see the tree fall. And just as that wealthy man and the people with him approached the tree began to topple and the jealous neighbor yelled timber. But he wasn't paying attention and the tree fell on the jealous man and he was beneath the weight of the tree clearly dying. But he was happy because he cut down that tree. But that man who owned the estate looked at him and said oh friend this is so tragic. I don't know why you've done this.

You see these men are builders and we're going to build new houses out here. And we were trying to figure out how do we cut down that one tree that towers above all the others so you've actually helped to accomplish my purpose. That's what happened at the cross. Satan accomplished the purpose of God because the scripture said Messiah would be crucified.

And in the same way the tree effectively falls on Antichrist and the dragon or Satan who gives him his power. Now when we read this term the beast this is not a description of his appearance like beauty and the beast. No this rather is a description of his character. I think he's going to be a really handsome guy. He'll have a well tailored suit.

Think the devil wears Prada. He's going to be engaging. He's going to be intelligent.

He's going to come with all of these so-called solutions. But really he is the enemy of God. And the fact of the matter is he's going to be a fake Christ.

The prefix anti not only means against it also means instead of. He's coming as a false Messiah. I remember years ago I was in Israel and we were talking about the Messiah. And I said well I believe Jesus is the Messiah and this Jewish man said well we don't believe Jesus is the Messiah. I said okay well who will your Messiah be and he said this is an exact quote.

When our Messiah comes he'll bring peace to the Middle East and he'll rebuild our temple. I said you just described the Antichrist. You can see how some would think he is the Messiah.

Oh he's doing all these wonderful things but he hasn't revealed who he really is yet. He's a fake Christ. He is Satan's ultimate master beast.

The crowning counterfeit. A forged replica of Jesus. What is the agenda of the Antichrist? He's coming to deify Satan. He's coming to deify Satan. Verse four of Revelation 13.

They worship the dragon. That's Satan remember. Who gave authority to the beast and they worship the beast saying who is like the beast and who is able to make war with him.

And this is what the devil of course has always wanted. Also Antichrist is coming to defy and take the place of Jesus. So he's coming to defy and take the place of Jesus. Revelation 13 verse five.

There was given a mouth speaking great philosophies and things and he was given authority to continue for three and a half years. He opposes Christ and also he's coming to kill believers. To kill Christians. Look at verse seven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.

And authority was given to him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. Now you're probably thinking wait what kill Christians? I thought Christians would be caught up to meet the Lord and the rapture. Well they will be.

Millions of them. But other people are going to come to Christ in the tribulation period. Some have falsely thought that the Holy Spirit is going to be removed from the earth during the tribulation period.

Not true. The Bible says he who now restrains will continue to do so until he is taken out of the way and then that wicked one will be revealed whom the Lord will destroy with the brightness of his coming. So the restraining force in the world today is the Holy Spirit working through Christians. After Christians are caught up to meet the Lord in the air, thousands even millions are going to come to Christ. Some of the greatest outpourings of the Holy Spirit will happen in the tribulation period. So these believers will be persecuted by the Antichrist. Antichrist is also coming to dominate the globe. A verse 7 authority was given to him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.

How is he able to do this? He's energized by the devil. He's called the man of sin in 2 Thessalonians 2-3. He's called the wicked one in 2 Thessalonians 2-8. And by the way Antichrist does not act alone. He has a partner in crime, a sidekick if you will, identified as the false prophet. Revelation 13-11 says another beast that looks like a lamb and speaks like a dragon. So this is another evil man different from the Antichrist.

So you've heard of the dynamic duo of Batman and Robin. This is the demonic duo of Antichrist and his religious leader, the false prophet. Now you add Satan to the mix and you have an unholy trinity. Just as there is a holy trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, there's an unholy trinity as Satan in the place of God, Antichrist in the place of Jesus Christ, and this false prophet in the place of the Holy Spirit. The Antichrist religion will be a mixture of many beliefs intertwined with occultism. So when we see any kind of a movement toward a one-world religion, that is a foreshock of Antichrist. You know the popular thing today is people say, well I'm spiritual, I'm not a religious person, I'm not into organized religion, I'm just spiritual. And to me it's like, what does that even mean, I'm not into organized religion?

Are you into disorganized chaos? Here's the bottom line, if you're really a spiritual person as you claim, you will find your way to Jesus Christ. Jesus said to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, who ultimately ordered his execution, everyone who is of the truth will hear my voice. You say you're a seeker, you say you're a spiritual person, if you really are, you will come to believe in Jesus Christ, and if you don't, I don't think you really are a seeker, because God says those that seek me will find me. See we're moving toward what I would describe as an ABC culture. ABC culture, anything but Christ.

Whatever form of spirituality you want to believe in, it's cool, as long as it's not Christianity, as long as they don't believe in the Bible. The Bible also tells us one of the signs of the last days will be a great apostasy or falling away. Matthew 24, 12, Jesus says, because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. Second Thessalonians 2, 3 says, that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God.

And this word rebellion comes from the root word apostasia, where we get our English word apostasy from, a defection from the truth. I think what this is describing is professed believers falling away, professed. Just because a person says they're a Christian doesn't mean they are. The proof is in the pudding. By the way, I've never understood that statement, what proof is in pudding, but the proof is in the lifestyle, isn't it? And if you're really a Christian, people will see results in your life. They'll see the spiritual fruit that comes from your life.

So just because a person says they're a Christian, even a spiritual leader, it doesn't mean they necessarily are. As I've said before, I think there'll be three surprises when we get to heaven. Surprise number one, some of the people we thought will be there, will be there. Number two, some of the people we never thought will be there, will be there. And surprise number three, you'll be there, I'll be there. But just because someone professes faith in Christ doesn't mean they're necessarily a believer.

2 Timothy, excuse me, 1 Timothy 4 says, the Bible clearly speaks that in the last days some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits taught by demons and their hypocritical liars whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. Seared with a hot iron. You know, I don't know about you, and this is a weird thing for a guy to admit, but I like to iron clothes. I think it's seen something that's all wrinkled, and I've got this super powerful steam iron that came from Europe.

It's much better than our wimpy American irons. And so when you really need to get a wrinkle out, you pull the little button on it and big bunch of steam comes out, it's great. So the other day I was ironing some shirt and I put the shirt on and there was one wrinkle. One wrinkle, I can't believe it. I didn't want to take this shirt off, so I had the bright idea of just giving it a shot of steam while I was wearing it, so I pulled the shirt out like this and I took the iron and I gave it a burst of steam. I screamed, it hurt so bad. Later that night my wife saw me, I had my shirt off. Don't try to envision that, please. I had my shirt off, there's this big red spot. My wife says, what is that?

I said, don't even ask. But seared is with a hot iron. It's scary that people can be in the church and yet have their hearts hardened against God. People are gonna fall away in the end times. 2 Timothy 4 says, the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine and they'll suit their own desires, teachings that they want to hear. A great number of teachers they'll listen to that give them what their itching ears want to hear.

That's how it is for a lot of people. Sadly, even Christians sometimes, they want to hear something new. What's the new message? What's the new revelation? Listen to this. If it's new, it's not true. And if it's true, it's not new.

The Bible gives you everything you need to know about God. Stop looking for some new revelation because you might get yourself into trouble. And we see this today. We see people allowing other things that take the place of what matters in their lives. You have a problem when you're more passionate about politics than you are about your faith. You have a problem when your conspiracy theories are more important than your theology. I've seen Jesus-loving, Bible-believing believers get sidetracked and their social media used to be filled with scriptures and things that honored the Lord and now it's all politics and conspiracy theories. And to all of these people, I would say this, a quote directly from Jesus, return to your first love. Don't let these other things get in the way of your life. Paul says, here's the job of the pastor, to preach the word, to patiently correct and encourage your people with good teaching.

I've been doing this for almost 50 years now and I plan to keep doing it as long as the Lord gives me breath. But listen, here's what we need to be aware of in these last days in which we're living. Any move away from the uniqueness of Christ is the only way to God is a problem.

That's a non-negotiable issue. If you hear a pastor or anybody else stand up and say, well, we believe that all roads lead to God. No, they're wrong. There's only one road that leads to heaven and it's the road opened up to us through Jesus Christ who said, I am the way, the truth, and the life and no man comes to the Father but by me. The Bible says there is salvation in no other name and there's no other name by which a man or a woman can be saved but Jesus Christ. So when you see a move away from the uniqueness of Christ, that's a problem. Number two, any move toward embracing other faiths on the same level as Christianity is also a problem. I mean, I respect people of other faiths.

I have conversations with them. Of course, I would try to persuade them to believe what I believe and they would probably try to persuade me to believe what they believe. That's fine, I'm not saying people can have differences of opinions but as Christians, we need to know that our faith stands apart because there's no other religion that has a savior who died on the cross and rose again from the dead. You can go to the tombs of the great religious leaders and you'll find that the leader is in the tomb but if you go to the tomb of Jesus, you'll find it's empty. Another problem is a move away from Bible exposition.

Listen, I'm not here to entertain you. I'm here to teach you what the Bible says. The Bible and the Bible alone must be our primary source of authority but listen to this. This false prophet that emerges on the scene will actually be able to do miracles. I'll put that word in quotes, miracles, signs and wonders. Revelation 13, 13 to 14 says of this false prophet, he performs great signs so he even knows what to do. He performs great signs so he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of man and deceives those who dwell in the earth by these signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast. I mean, that's pretty dramatic, calling fire down from heaven. So the question may arise, can the devil do miracles?

Well, let me say the devil is a great imitator and he is able to replicate some supernatural phenomena as allowed by God. Case in point, when Moses went into the court of the Pharaoh and demanded the release of the Jewish people, you remember a number of miracles were done to convince Pharaoh. One of them was turning the Nile River to blood. That was their primary source of water in Egypt and also the Egyptians worshiped the Nile River as a god and also a plague of frogs came upon Egypt. Well, Pharaoh had these so-called magicians, these occult advisors, and amazingly they were able to replicate those two miracles. They could turn water into blood.

I think the Pharaoh would have appreciated it if they turned blood back into water, not what little water they had left in the blood and they were also to replicate, able to replicate the plague of frogs which I'm sure that Pharaoh would have been more impressed if they got rid of the frogs but after that, they could no longer replicate those miracles that Moses did. So Satan can do certain things, certain supernatural phenomena but you should not believe it because it's there to deceive you. That's the false prophet.

Here's a real twist in the story. Antichrist is gonna have a mock death and resurrection. A mock death and resurrection.

Look at verse three. John says I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded and his deadly wound was healed and all the world marveled and followed the beast. So it appears from this text that there will be an assassination attempt on Antichrist and it will even appear that it is successful but then somehow the Antichrist survives it.

Imagine if when President Kennedy was shot in Dallas, if he survived that horrible shot or multiple shots that hit his head or if John Lennon had somehow survived the shooting that happened in the Dakota hotel there or apartments in New York City. Wow, it would be like a dead person had come back to life. That's exactly what's happening and what story does that remind us of? It reminds us of the resurrection of Jesus and what is the result of this so-called resurrection of Antichrist, Revelation 13.4. So they worshiped the dragon and gave authority to the beast and worshiped the beast saying who is like the beast? So incredible.

He's such an imitator. He will deceive people that don't know better. Now we all know about the mark of the beast, 666.

I'll talk about that next time. Let me close with this. Who is the Antichrist? Now I'm gonna give you the answer. Ready, who is the Antichrist? I don't know.

By the way, nobody knows. So don't waste your time looking for Antichrist. Again, Jesus said, when you see these things begin to happen, look up for your redemption draws near. You know, if an earthquake is coming, you will have four shocks and I think we're seeing an Antichrist, four shocks of Armageddon, four shocks of end times events right now.

As they get closer and closer together, not unlike labor pains a woman experiences when she's ready to give birth. So as we see these events get closer together, things I've talked about in this message, it says Antichrist is coming but it also says Jesus Christ is even coming sooner because again, Jesus will come for his people before Antichrist is revealed. Now let me close with this, kind of a provocative question. Are you an Antichrist? You say, no Greg, I'm confused. I thought you said it's a coming world leader. Yes, but that phrase Antichrist is used elsewhere in the Bible. First John 2 22 says, who's the great liar? The one who says Jesus is not the Christ.

Such people are Antichrists and they've denied the Father and the Son. You know, it comes down to this. I have a choice. I'm gonna either follow Jesus Christ or I'm gonna follow in effect Antichrist.

It's really up to me. It's Emmanuel or Jezebel. It's Antichrist or Jesus Christ. It's really God or Satan.

You wanna make the right decision because you are following the living God or you're following a false God. And by the way, everybody has a God. No matter who you are, you have some altar you bow before. It might be the altar of you. You worship yourself effectively. Or it might be the altar of materialism or it might be the altar of pleasure or some other thing that you bow before. But you wanna make sure you bow before the Lord because if you do, your name will be written in the book of life. Look at Revelation 13 eight. All who dwell on the earth will worship Him whose names have not been written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Let me ask you in closing, is your name written in the book of life?

You say, what is that? It's a book in heaven, a scroll. And if you believe in Jesus Christ, your name is there. And if you don't believe in Jesus Christ, your name is not there. And there's coming a final judgment spoken of in Revelation when people will stand before God, great people, unknown people, famous people, every person who doesn't know God. And the Bible says if their name is not found written in the book of life, they're cast into the lake of fire. God doesn't want anyone to face judgment. That's why He poured His judgment on His son Jesus Christ who died in our place as I said before, God treated Jesus as if He had lived your life so He could treat you as though you had lived His life. Christ died in your place and I love this phrase that is used here in Revelation, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. That means back in the councils of eternity before there was a Garden of Eden, before there was a planet called Earth, before there was anything, God decided that one day His name would be written in the book of life and He decided that one day His son would come to this earth and be born in a manger in Bethlehem and then die on a cross and rise again from the dead.

He was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Consider this. If you're a parent, you'll know what I'm talking about, even a grandparent. If anything happens to one of your kids or your grandkids, if they're sick or they fall, you can almost feel the pain, can't you? It was harder for the Father to send the Son than it would have been for the Father Himself to have come to this cross. He had to watch His beloved Son suffer and die. But what did Jesus tell us? For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son.

What a gift. Whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Do you believe in Jesus?

Is your name written in the book of life? You say, well, what does it mean to believe in Jesus? It means more than just acknowledging a man named Jesus walked this planet 2,000 years ago.

It means that you recognize that Jesus is the Son of God and you ask Him to forgive you of your sin and you ask Him to come and take residence in your heart. Jesus says, behold, I stand at the door and I knock and if you'll hear my voice and open the door, I will come in. Would you like to ask Jesus to come into your life right now? Would you like to know that you'll go to heaven when you die? Would you like your name written in the book of life?

Would you like to miss this whole tribulation period we've been talking about? It can all happen if you will call out to Jesus. The Bible says whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. In a moment, I'm gonna pray and I'm gonna ask you that would like Jesus to come into your life, you that would like your sin forgiven, you that would like to begin a relationship with God to pray with me. In fact, I'll even lead you in a simple prayer.

You can pray this prayer out loud if you like or you can pray it quietly in your heart but do pray because this is where you are calling out to the Lord to forgive you and change you. Let's all pray together. Father, I pray for every person watching wherever they are. You know them, Lord.

You love them. The very hairs of their head are numbered and you're calling many to yourself right now and I pray that your Holy Spirit will convict them of their sin and convince them of their need for Jesus and help them to come to you now and believe. Now while our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed and we're praying, you can pray in your heart if you like. Pray these words, Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. I repent of my sin and I choose to follow you, Lord, from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing this prayer and answering this prayer. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen. Amen. Hey everybody, Greg Laurie here. Thanks for listening to our podcast and to learn more about Harvest Ministries, please subscribe and consider supporting this show. Just go to Harvest.org and by the way, if you want to find out how to come into a personal relationship with God, go to KnowGod.org. That's K-N-O-W-G-O-D dot org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-03 01:52:17 / 2023-12-03 02:10:04 / 18

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