Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners. Helping people everywhere know God.
Learn more at harvest.org. And while you're there, browse our library of free e-books designed to help you grow in your faith. Who is the Antichrist? He is effectively the son of Satan himself.
We might think this beast, as he's called, will be terrifying to look at, but Pastor Greg Laurie says actually the opposite is true. 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. So many wonder about the Antichrist. Is he on the world stage right now?
Is he as bad as we've heard? Is he my next-door neighbor? Some answers today on A New Beginning with Pastor Greg Laurie. And don't forget our important evangelistic event SoCal Harvest this Sunday, October 3rd. A powerful message from Pastor Greg.
Tell someone who needs to hear the Gospel, details of harvest.org slash SoCal. But let's get started with our important study of Bible prophecy. 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.
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's 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 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 am going to read quite a few verses so read along with me. Revelation 13 starting in verse 1. John remember he is on the island of Patmos. He has 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 head 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 is 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. It looks like something out of a sci-fi movie.
Right? I have always been a fan of Godzilla. 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 Godzilla movies. One was called Ghidorah.
He has many heads. And then there is my favorite Mothra. I mean is that an intimidating name for a monster? Mothra. It is 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. Now if 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 am walking along and she is 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 have ever seen. So I was going 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 is so cute.
Oh really. She is coming. And all of a sudden the moth takes flight. And he was so big. I am going whoa. Even I can have backed off. And some guy just steps over from the side and goes.
It was really gross. Now what John is doing here is he is speaking symbolically. And for the Bible student we have 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 will 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. Now 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 kingdom, the Medo-Persian empire, the Medo-Persians were overtaken by the Greeks under the direction of the great military tactician Alexander the Great. And 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 antichrist 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 ten 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. 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 antichrist, 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 antichrist who will harness economic and technological power.
He'll form a one-world government, a one-world economy, and a one-world religion. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We're encouraged when we hear that Pastor Greg's teaching and preaching is touching lives. We're grateful to hear of the changed lives through Pastor Greg's teaching. And be sure to tell a friend about Pastor Greg's upcoming SoCal Harvest, October 3rd at Angel Stadium in Southern California. Help them find hope in Christ. For information, go to harvest.org.
That's harvest.org. Well, today, Pastor Greg is pulling back the veil so we can get a look at the antichrist from chapter 13 of Revelation. And you can find out more about Pastor Greg's new book on Revelation by going to harvest.org. Here's five things you need to know about the antichrist if you're taking notes. Number one, I've already mentioned this.
I'll repeat it again. The antichrist 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, antichrist the power to do what he does. And it is the devils 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 antichrist. So Jesus Christ wouldn't go with it.
But antichrist will. So Satan is authorizing and empowering this individual. But understand he's given permission. Look at Revelation 13 five. 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 the 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 them 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 out 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.
I 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 4 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 5.
There was given a mouth speaking great blasphemies 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 7.
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 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. Pastor Greg Laurie pointing out the clever schemes of that unholy alliance from our studies today in Revelation here on A New Beginning. I hope you're enjoying our series. If you are be sure to draw Pastor Greg an email at Greg at harvest dot org.
If you missed any of today's portion of our series you can get a replay by going to harvest dot org. Just look for the study titled Who is the Antichrist? You know the book of Revelation is a rewarding study of Bible prophecy and in our current series and in a new book from Pastor Greg we're seeing the full picture of its authorship the time in which it was written and the circumstances in which our redemption takes place. The Apostle John wrote the book of Revelation. John was one of the apostles that walked with Jesus Christ. In fact in his gospel he described himself as the disciple that Jesus loved.
He outlived all the other disciples and they tried to put him to death according to church tradition and a pot of boiling oil. But John would not die so instead they banished him to the distant island of Patmos an isolated little island out in the middle of nowhere. He was put on a ship probably in chains and when he was placed on that island no one ever thought that they would hear from John again. Maybe even John felt abandoned by God.
I don't know but I know this much. Jesus Christ came to the Apostle John on the island of Patmos and the Lord took John into the future sort of catapulted him into the next dimension and he saw things that no man had ever seen before. John had a front row seat to the beginning of the tribulation period. He tells us about the Antichrist, the mark of the beast, the battle of Armageddon, and the second coming of Jesus Christ. He also tells us about the millennial reign of Jesus where the lamb and the lion will lie together.
And John tells us about that momentous event when heaven and earth all come together again. And he wrote these words down in a book that is simply called Revelation. It's the revelation of Jesus Christ. Revelation means unveiling. So this book is given to unveil, to reveal Jesus Christ to us. And Revelation is our home for the next several weeks here on A New Beginning.
We hope you can be with us just as often as possible. But you can dig even deeper into this final book of the Bible by way of a new book Pastor Greg has just released. Tell us about this new resource Pastor Greg. Yeah, I think far too often when we think of Revelation we think it's ominous and horrible. And yes, there are some very heavy duty events described in this book. But it is a book that reveals Jesus Christ to us. It's a book that is filled with promises. That's why we called it Revelation, a book of promises. This is a book you would leave out on a coffee table or by your nightstand.
A book that is over 400 pages long. But understand, it's a very accessible book. The way that I wrote it, I did so in a way that you can understand what the Bible teaches on the end times.
Because I know you have an interest in these things. But I want to help you know how it applies to you. There's not a lot of theological verbiage that will confuse you.
Everything is in down to earth terminology that you will understand. And it will show you how all of these great events that are in our future apply to you in day to day living. I think you're going to love this new resource from Harvest Ministries that we're simply calling Revelation, a book of promises.
Yeah, I think you're right. And we're making this new book available to thank you for your investment in the work we do here each day. It's an investment in changed lives for eternity.
It's an investment in bringing people to Jesus Christ, as we'll be doing at SoCal Harvest on October 3rd. So send that investment today to A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime.
That's 1-800-821-3300. Or go online to harvest.org. We're back. SoCal Harvest. Very exciting. You want to go. Join us Sunday, October 3rd at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Pastor Greg Warrey will bring a message of hope and music of hope from For King and Country. So many people have been looking for hope. That's why I'm very excited to announce we are coming back to Angel Stadium for the SoCal Harvest on October 3rd. We have a message of hope and purpose. Our message is Jesus Christ. Bring someone along with you through the music, the message, and a brand new interactive experience.
They'll find the hope they're looking for. SoCal Harvest, October 3rd 7 p.m. at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. To me, I feel it's a snapshot of heaven.
Details. Harvest.org slash SoCal. Well, next time, more insights on Satan's spawn, the Antichrist, as Pastor Greg continues our studies in the Book of Revelation. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Warren. Hey, everybody, thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries, follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org. And to find out how to know God personally, go to harvest.org and click on Know God.
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