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How Bad Can It Get? - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
February 9, 2024 5:00 am

How Bad Can It Get? - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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February 9, 2024 5:00 am

Pastor Skip concludes his message “How Bad Can It Get?” and examines the beast that is coming and his sidekick, an evil false prophet.

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He's called the Prince that shall come, also in the Book of Daniel, the Willful King, and the Idle Shepherd. Not a good guy. Looks like a good guy. Bow and no arrows, white horse, not a good guy.

A beast. But he has, he's got a buddy. He has a cohort. He has a sidekick.

He's not alone. He has what we call the false prophet. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Pastor Skip concludes his message, how bad can it get, and examines the beast that is coming and his sidekick, an evil false prophet.

But first we want to tell you about a resource to give you a clear picture of God's plan for Israel. How have conflicts and wars in the Middle East set the stage for a future apocalypse? That's the question Ron Rhodes takes head on in his new book.

Listen to this. What do you see coming in the next five or six years that might do injury to the church? And without hesitation, I said, I really feel like we're going to see an explosion of subjectivism, experientialism, and mysticism, along with occultism and some paganism. How conflicts and wars in the Middle East have set the stage for the end times. This new book by Ron Rhodes addresses issues such as understanding Islam, rebuilding the temple, and the annihilation campaign from the Antichrist.

Here's Ron Rhodes commenting on Middle East events. Did you know that in Revelation 2 and 3, we read about the church 19 times, and then in the discussion on the tribulation in chapters 4 through 18, you don't see the church a single time. It is gone. In 1 Thessalonians 1 verse 10, we are told that the church is to be delivered from the wrath to come. That word delivered literally means snatched, snatched away from.

We are to be snatched away from the wrath to come, which is a reference to the tribulation period. With your gift of $50 or more to connect with Skip Heitzig, you'll receive a copy of this new book from Ron Rhodes. Your gift will support the production and expansion of the Connect with Skip broadcast. Call 1-800-922-1888 or go online to connectwithskip.com with your donation. And we'll thank you with a copy of Ron Rhodes' new book, How Conflicts and Wars in the Middle East have set the stage for the end times.

That's 1-800-922-1888 or connectwithskip.com. All right, now let's tune into Skip's teaching today. We're in Revelation 6 as we begin. Now I saw when the lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, come and see. And I looked and behold a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

Now some mistakenly, and I say mistakenly, have looked at this and said, oh that's got to be Jesus. White horse, remember the old westerns? Who rides in on the white horse? The good guy, John Wayne had a white horse. And so we with that kind of conditioning, we read this and we think, oh that's got to be the good guy, that's got to be Jesus.

No it's not. It's a counterfeit Christ. It is an anti-Christ.

The word anti doesn't mean necessarily against Christ as much as it means instead of Christ. It is, he's the ultimate poser, the counterfeit Christ. You see, if I was going to print $20 bills, if I was going to make counterfeits, if I made it, I would not put Barack Obama on the front of the $20 bill. I would not put Donald Trump on the front of the $20 bill. I would not put Joe Biden on the front of the $20 bill.

Why? Because you'd spot it as a fake a mile away. No, I would put Andrew Jackson on the front and I would make it look as good.

Don't worry, I'm not thinking of doing this. But if you make a counterfeit, you want it to look, appear as real as you can. So he comes in on a white horse looking like the good guy, not in black with steam coming from his head with horns, to Darth Vader music, dun dun dun dun dun, that'd be too easy, too obvious. Now he comes in on a white horse. But there's a huge difference between this writer in chapter 6 and the writer in chapter 19 who is Jesus Christ at the end of the tribulation. This writer comes at the beginning of the tribulation. He brings in bloodshed. He brings in war. He brings in famine. Jesus comes at the end of the tribulation on a white horse. He ends the war.

He ends the tribulation. Jesus in Revelation 19 has crowns, plural. This person has a crown, singular. Jesus has crowns. It's a different word. The word in Revelation 19 for crowns is diademata. Diademata, we get our word diadem from that, and it speaks of crowns of reigning sovereign monarchs. This guy, this writer in chapter 6, wears a staphonos, which was a little leafy, laurel wreath that they would put on the head of an athlete who won a race.

Very temporary. Jesus in Revelation 19 on the white horse has a sword. This guy has a bow. In fact, notice that he comes on the white horse. He has a bow, but no arrows.

Why? Because it's a peaceful takeover. He didn't have to attack anybody. He's going to come with the bow, so he's got the power, got the authority, but he won't have to fire a shot.

Daniel chapter 8 adds a little more detail. He is called the master of deception. Through peace, he will deceive many. So everybody's going to think, oh, this guy's a hero. This guy's the good guy. Let's give him a crown.

But turn to chapter 13. Chapter 13, that parenthetical section that adds more details, we learn about the character of this leader. Verse 1, I stood on the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast, a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns, 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, his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him power, his power, throne, and great authority. He comes in on a white horse, but now we see that he is his true identity.

He's a beast. By the way, the lion, the bear, all that stuff, if you're familiar with Daniel chapter 7, that's the key that unlocks this. There are about a hundred passages in the Bible that refer to this deceptive leader, the Antichrist. He is called the man of sin in Thessalonians. He is called the lawless one. He's called the beast. He's referred to as the little horn in Daniel.

He's called the prince that shall come, also in the book of Daniel, the willful king and the idol shepherd. Not a good guy. Looks like a good guy. Bow and no arrows, white horse, not a good guy.

A beast. But he has, he's got a buddy. He has a cohort. He has a sidekick.

He's not alone. He has what we call the false prophet. The false prophet brings in a universal system of worship. It's talked about a little more in Revelation 17 and 18, but let me take you down to chapter 13 verse 11. Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed. And he performs great signs so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs, which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.

So can you imagine this during the tribulation? People were looking for answers. They're confused. They're in pain. They want to deliver.

They'll take anything. And Jesus predicted in Matthew 24 that many will come in my name saying, I am the Christ and will deceive many. Well, this guy, the false prophet, will be the greatest false preacher the world has known, and he'll work for the antichrist along with the antichrist side by side. He'll be the religious, spiritual component. It was Karl Marx who said, religion is the opium of the masses. And if that is true, that religion is the opium of the masses, then these two guys are kingpin drug dealers because they will dish out deception to the world. And Thessalonians says they will believe the lie.

So we have two mountain peaks we're looking at. Pretty bad so far. Tribulation, really bad.

Deception on top of that. That's why I want to bring you to the third mountain peak as we fly over, and that is the mountain peak of salvation. This is the good part, believe it or not. Now, let me take you back to chapter six. Go back to chapter six. Chapter six is that opening salvo in the tribulation period where you have the four horsemen of the apocalypse. You have the promise of peace, but quickly comes war, famine, and death.

And it gets so bad right off the bat in those seal judgments that in chapter six, verse 16, all the people, rich and poor, kings, et cetera, said to the mountains, fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the lamb. For the great day of his wrath has come and who is able to stand? That's the question.

Here's the question. This is so bad, who could possibly survive? Who could possibly withstand this?

Who can stand? Chapter seven provides the answer to that question, because chapter seven, in that parenthetical chapter, introduces two groups who will be saved, Jews and Jews. Will be saved, Jews and non-Jews, Jews and Gentiles.

This is why this is important. Some of you have family members you've shared with, you've labored over, you've prayed for, they've dug their heels in, they don't want to hear, and you are so worried about them, and you think, man, if a church goes up in the rapture, if we're gone, and if judgment is poured out on the earth, does that mean that the spread of the gospel and the opportunity for salvation, that that door will be closed? The answer is no. People will still get saved during the tribulation. Yeah, but the Bible says the Holy Spirit will be taken.

Really, show me where it says that. I've heard people say, the Holy Spirit. No, you are misquoting 2 Thessalonians, which says, the one who restrains or hinders will continue to restrain until he is taken out of the way.

Right. So that doesn't mean God is removing the Holy Spirit from the earth so that nobody can be saved. It means that the Holy Spirit, who is living in the church, when the church is taken away, that's what's hindering the evil that will come upon the earth.

Just think of it. Think of all the junk going on morally, culturally, with Target, with all the stuff you know about in our Bud Light, our culture. The only one standing up against that filth at all is the church. When the, yeah, but when the church gets removed at the rapture, then you have a putrefaction process that will be very rapid.

It's like when you take the salt of the earth out of the meat, it rots. And that's going to happen very, very quickly. So the good news is people will be saved during the tribulation period. In fact, I would even go so far as to say, perhaps the greatest revival in the history of the world is yet future in the tribulation period. Let me show you two groups. First group is 144,000 Jews. Look at chapter 7, verse 1. After these things, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God.

And he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was gathered to harm the earth and the sea, saying, do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads. And I heard the number of those who were sealed. 144,000 of all the tribes of the children of what? Israel.

Children of Israel were sealed. You know how many nutty groups say they're the 144,000? Jehovah's Witnesses say we're the 144,000. Seventh-day Adventists, we're the 144,000. Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong used to say we're the 144,000.

Let me make it easy. You're all wrong. They're Jews. How do you know? It says, hello, the children of Israel. And if that's not enough for you, keep reading, because 12 tribes of Israel are listed 12,000 youth tribes. So there's no mistake.

That's who it is. You know, right, that one of the purposes of the tribulation is to prepare Israel for its Messiah. First time Jesus came, it says He came into His own, and His own received Him not.

His own people refused to accept Him. When He comes the second time, they will be prepared during this tribulation period to receive their Messiah. And they will be sealed, just like when the children of Israel were spared from the death in Egypt, the death of the firstborn. And what was the seal of their protection? Blood on the doorposts and lentils.

Some kind of seal will be provided, and they will be protected. So you've got 144,000 from the tribes of Israel believing in Jesus during the tribulation period. You might say, well, how did they come to believe in Jesus?

Well, we don't have time to get into it today, but if you go over to chapter 11, we get the answer. There are two preachers called the two witnesses. They're two of my favorite guys in the Bible, and I don't even know who they are. I mean, I can guess who they are. I think I know them, but I'm not sure. It doesn't say. But they're two of my favorite guys because they are faithful preachers, and they preach the gospel for 1,260 days.

That's three and a half years. They're faithfully preaching the gospel. They get killed by the beast, and their bodies lie in the street for three days, and this is what it says in the Bible. Everybody in the world will be able to see their dead bodies lying on the street. Now let me ask you a question. How is it possible that everybody in the world can see an event happen at the same time? Well, you go, that's easy. It's called satellite television.

It's called your smartphone or your computer. That's why this couldn't have happened a hundred years ago. It's something that's fresh, that's new because of technology, so they're going to look at the dead bodies. They'll be so excited. They'll be given presents to each other. Happy Dead Witnesses Day to you too, and suddenly as the cameras are on them, the Bible says God puts life back into their bodies, and they stand up.

Can't wait to see the face of the news reporter covering these stories. 144,000 will be saved, but there's another group. Look at Revelation 7. Look at verse 9. After these things I looked, and behold, now watch this, a great multitude which no one could number.

That's how big it is. Well, who are they? Of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, in other words, Gentiles, non-Jews from everywhere in the world, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, crying out with a loud voice, salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb. They're standing, not sitting, like the 24 elders. They're clothed in white robes, just like the martyrs in chapter 6 were clothed in white robes. John knew who the 24 elders were.

He doesn't know who these guys are. Look at verse 13. Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, who are these arrayed in white robes, and where do they come from? And I said to him, sir, you know.

I like it. It's like, uh, you're asking me. I'm just watching this revelation happen, writing it down. Well, who are these people? I don't know. So he said to me, these are the ones who come out of the great tribulation and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

We don't have to guess who this is. These are people saved during the tribulation. So there's going to be a lot of people saved during that time. As the tribulation wears on, as the judgments wear on, martyred believers will increase, and the preaching of the two witnesses and the preaching of the 144,000 will bring not just 144,000 Jews, but an innumerable group of people from every nation on earth.

Oh, I didn't tell you about this. There's also an angel added to the mix. This is Revelation 14 verse 6. Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth, to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, fear God and give glory to Him. So people say, well, what about the person who's in the middle of the jungle and who's never, I don't know why they always have to be in the middle of the jungle, but, well, they're going to hear.

Every isolated person, if they live in Espanola, Madrid, East Mountains, if they're off the grid, they'll see and hear this phenomena of the preaching of the gospel by an angel. So here's the be-all, end-all. Despite the devil's best efforts, God is still at work. When the world experiences its greatest mess, God will make sure it hears the world's greatest message. It's amazing. Salvation during the tribulation.

So how bad can it get? Remember Charles Dickens when he wrote A Tale of Two Cities, how he begins the book? He said, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I think that sums up the tribulation, don't you? It'll be the worst time on earth physically, it'll be one of the best times on earth spiritually.

As people will, after that martyrdom, after they are sealed, they will live in eternity with Christ. A man went fishing one day, ice fishing. He got his gear ready, he walked out to the ice, he's ready to fish. When he reached the ice and he was going to cut that circle in, he heard a voice from above him saying, there are no fish here.

Wow, God spoke to me. That's what he thought. So he moved his gear a little bit further out on the ice and he started digging again and he heard a voice again, there are no fish here.

And he moved to a third spot. Before he even got there, the voice said, look, there's no fish here. And finally put his stuff down and goes, look, God, how do you know there's no fish here?

The voice came back saying, this is the ice rink manager. Some of y'all have been listening to the wrong voices. Here's the heart of God. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. He's saying, well, you just gave me a golden parachute, Skip. I won't accept Christ because you're saying that people will be able to come to Christ in the tribulation.

Are you nuts? What part of the tribulation do you think, I'm okay with that part? God is offering you an escape. And I know Christians are accused of preaching the rapture, the great escape.

You betcha. This is what Jesus said. He said, when he talked about the tribulation, he said, pray that you may be able to escape all these things and stand before the son of man.

So you know what? I am praying that. That concludes Skip Heitzig's message from the series, The End is Near. Find the full message as well as books, booklets and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Now here's Skip to share how you can connect you and many others with the truth of God's word with a gift to keep these messages going out around the world through Connect with Skip Heitzig. I believe the Bible has something to say about absolutely every experience in life.

There might not be a direct Bible verse about that, but there are principles that speak into every aspect of life. This ministry exists to help people around the world experience life change that comes by connecting to God's word. Through your generosity, you can grow the reach of Connect with Skip Heitzig into even more places in the United States and around the world. Plus, you'll keep these teachings available to you wherever you listen.

Would you partner with us in this effort? Here's how you can give a gift now. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. And did you know that you can find full message series and libraries of content from Skip Heitzig on YouTube? Simply visit the Connect with Skip Heitzig channel on YouTube to watch or rewatch your favorite teachings or find new ones to dive into more solid biblical teaching to help deepen your walk. And be sure to subscribe to the channel so you never miss any new content. That's Connect with Skip Heitzig on YouTube. Tune in again next week as Skip shares a message about the Antichrist. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-09 05:04:42 / 2024-02-09 05:14:12 / 10

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