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The Antichrist Revealed - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
February 12, 2024 5:00 am

The Antichrist Revealed - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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February 12, 2024 5:00 am

Pastor Skip shares a message all about the sinister figure who will come in the end times.

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What I discovered is that the subject of Antichrist generates more speculation and interest than just about any other subject when it comes to Scripture, especially if there are leaders that take on the personality or the vocabulary of what we would associate with the Antichrist. The identity of the Antichrist has been speculated, debated, and questioned a great deal. And today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Pastor Skip shares a message all about this person who will come in the end times.

But first, here's a resource to help you understand God's plan, purpose, and future 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. Okay friends, now let's turn to Revelation 13 as we join Skip today. We are 16 weeks in already in this series, and today I want to talk to you about a subject found in Revelation chapter 13. Listen, I love talking to you about Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, today I've got to talk to you about the Antichrist, the exact opposite of who we know our Savior to be. But he is a prominent figure in Scripture. There are about 100 passages in the Bible about this coming leader. And one thing I've noticed in studying the Antichrist, what it does for me. It makes me appreciate Jesus Christ all the more.

So at least we'll use that as a form of comparison. Now, as we get into Revelation 13, keep something in mind. As in all the book of Revelation, this book is given in symbolic language. Though it's given in symbolic language, it speaks about actual literal events that will happen. In other words, this is not an allegory. It's written about in the kind of language that evokes emotion, but it speaks about literal events that will come in the future. And something else, if you are well-versed in the Old Testament, the book of Revelation is easier for you to understand. Because out of the 404 verses in the book of Revelation, 360 of them make reference to or quote or allude to the Old Testament.

So if you were, for instance, a first century Jewish Christian, this book would be more palatable, more understandable for you. Be that as it may, we are in Revelation chapter 13 in a message we call the Antichrist Revealed. Verse 1, we begin, Then I stood on the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns 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.

And 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. And so they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast and worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast who was able to make war with him? And he was given a mouth, speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue 42 months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God to blaspheme his name, his tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 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. And 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. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity.

He who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and faith of the saints. If you were to go to your computer and Google the word antichrist like I did this week, you would get 17,500,000 hits. And if you were to then Google the question, who is the antichrist, you would get far more. 183,000,000 hits on the simple question, who is the antichrist? Now, some websites, of course, I didn't check all 183,000,000, but some of the websites that I was rifling through come from legitimate, respectable sources theologically. Others, not so much. And there's always sketchy, odd folks, websites, sources.

And you can almost always tell—I know I'm generalizing here—but whenever everything is in all capital letters, bright red with flames coming out both sides of the webpage, you may want to stay away from that one. But what I discovered is that the subject of antichrist generates more speculation and interest than just about any other subject when it comes to Scripture, especially if there are leaders that take on the personality or the vocabulary of what we would associate with the antichrist. For example, here's a quote, one single center of power, one single center of force, one single center of decision-making, this is the world of one master and one sovereign. I found that quote from the New York Times, spoken by Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia. Well, that's antichrist-esque, in the least. Here's another quote from a different leader.

Just like Christ, I have a duty to my people. This leader claimed that just as Jesus' birth changed the calendar, so his victory would be the beginning of a brand new age. And he said, what Christ began, I will complete. Those are the words of Adolf Hitler, chancellor of Germany. In fact, at one of his rallies, the rallies of Nuremberg in Germany, throngs of people.

There was this huge poster with a picture of Adolf Hitler and the slogan was written, in the beginning was the word. Well, that's very antichrist-esque. And just think of that as a preview of this in Revelation chapter 13. After all, the term antichrist doesn't just mean opposed to Christ or against Christ. That little prefix anti can also mean instead of Christ. And it would seem that that is what he is trying to pull off, this giant counterfeit Christ idea. He will be a Satan-inspired, Satan-infused, Satan-possessed leader that will emerge during this time period we have told you about called the tribulation period, a seven-year period in the future upon the earth. Now he's known to us as the antichrist, so he has like 50 different names in the Bible. The one that really stuck, even though it's only mentioned a couple of times, is the name antichrist.

So we're going to go with that one. And I've discovered that whenever you have any serious conversation where you mention the antichrist, if you're talking to like unbelievers, just watch their eyes. If you say there's an antichrist coming, watch their eyes. I can almost guarantee you they will roll them in their heads.

Or they will snicker. I mean, because antichrist is right up there with like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. But the Bible predicts him. The Old Testament prophets, New Testament apostles, and the Lord Jesus himself. So because of that, throughout history, Christians have been aware, been looking for possibly identifying who this would be. This goes all the way back to even 40 AD when a Roman emperor named Caligula threatened to place an image of himself in the temple of Jerusalem.

It was anathema to the Jews. Jewish Christians were alerted to the fact that this might be the one the Bible calls the man of sin, or the son of perdition, or the antichrist. A few years after that, Caesar Nero emerged as the emperor of Rome. Caesar Nero in 57 AD launched a persecution against the Christian church.

That was one of the worst in history. Because of that, the believers referred to that Caesar as the beast. They thought this could be the antichrist.

And that has continued on through history. Some people have said it was Mussolini. Some said it was Napoleon. Some said the antichrist was Charlemagne, Adolf Hitler, Moshe Dayan, Henry Kissinger, Mikhail Gorbachev, Javier Solana of Spain, and Elon Musk.

Been numerous guesses. Presidents have been called the antichrist. Probably every president in history at some point by some group has been called that. But some identify Thomas Jefferson as the antichrist. Others later on, FDR, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Huge following. I remember when people said it was JFK, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Some said Ronald Reagan. Numerous popes have been called the antichrist throughout history. And one source, one prophetic publication said the worship of the beast is the internet.

And here's their rationale. Every HTML that you work with, every website you go to has a prefix www. Well, www, the letter w, corresponds to the Hebrew vav.

It would appear like a w in our transliterated style. And so there is a practice called gematria. Gematria is where you take letters of the alphabet and assign a numeric equivalent. It's an ancient practice from the Greek times and the Jewish people did this.

So certain languages have numeric equivalents. The sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is the letter vav. So aleph, bet, gimel, dal, etay, vav. So they go it's w, w, w, six, six, six.

This is how crazy it gets. So next week I'm going to be talking about the mark of the beast a little more specifically. That's found in verse 18 of this chapter. But since the mark is 666, today I want to give you six characteristics to describe this coming antichrist. First characteristic, wickedness. Notice in verse 1 and throughout this chapter he is called a beast. A beast.

The world sees him as a beauty. God sees him as a beast. You remember the book of Daniel. You remember that King Nebuchadnezzar had a vision one night, a dream.

He didn't know what it was. He said he couldn't remember and he asked for an interpretation. Daniel finally came in and says, let me tell you what your dream was and what it means. So Nebuchadnezzar saw an image of gold at the head, silver for the arms and chest, brass for the belly and thighs, legs of iron, feet of iron and clay.

That's what he saw. Daniel comes in and says, you are looking at successive kingdoms, world governing kingdoms who will bear rule over the world. He said, you're the head of gold, Nebuchadnezzar, something's coming after you, another kingdom after that, another kingdom after that. He showed successive kingdoms. Nebuchadnezzar saw the kingdoms as this shiny, bright, beautiful image, statue. A few chapters later, God gives to Daniel the same vision but a different analogy, not a beautiful statue but four beasts because that's how God sees them.

People see it as a beautiful, bright, shiny, awesome kingdom. God sees it as four great beasts. So this leader is called a beast and the Greek word is pharion and it means a wild, venomous, dangerous monster. So not like Phido, your household beast, your little pet, but a real beast. He's a man pictured as a beast because he's a beast of a man. And notice he rises from the sea, we are told in verse 1.

What does that mean? It's the nations of the world. The world is often pictured in the Scripture as a seething, restless sea, like the sea of humanity. Isaiah chapter 15, the wicked are like the troubled sea. In Revelation 17, then he said to me, this is 1715, then he said to me, the waters which you saw where the harlot sits are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. So the world in the Scripture is often pictured as a seething, raging, troubled sea, an ocean, which is an apt description. I mean, think about the world that you live in.

Think of the crime, the violence, the confusion over gender, the political distrust, the institutional failure, the rise in drug addiction, fentanyl death, pornography, you name it. Jesus in Luke 21, speaking of the last day, said, there will be distress of nations with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring. That's Jesus' own description of the end of days. Distress of nations with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring. By the way, that word perplexity that Jesus used, it's the only time it's found in the Greek New Testament. It means confusion, and it could be translated, no way out. People will say, there's no way out of this mess. There's no fix to this solution.

There's no way we're going to get out of this. Well, just at that time will emerge out of that troubled sea a leader that we call the Antichrist. He will begin as a peacemaker, Revelation chapter 6, man on the white horse, but he will bring with him war and destruction.

He'll come as somebody who's charming and charismatic and dynamic, a beauty, but he's really a beast. Arnold Toynbee was a British historian. Some of you know who he is, or he was. He was a British historian who studied in particular the decline of historic civilizations. And he said something I want to read to you. He said, by forcing on mankind more and more lethal weapons, and at the same time making the world more interdependent economically, technology has brought mankind to such a degree of distress that we are ripe for the deifying of any new Caesar who might succeed in giving the world unity and peace.

So they'll be perplexed. There's no way out. Oh, really?

Well, have I got a solution for you. He's a beast. So that's his first characteristic, wickedness.

Second characteristic, world dominance. Go back to verse 1 and 2. I stood on the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns.

It's a confederacy of nations. And on his horns, his horns, ten crowns, 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. His mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon, that is Satan, we're told in Revelation 12, the dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.

A couple things. What we just read sounds familiar if you know the Old Testament book of Daniel. In Daniel chapter 7, what Daniel saw is very similar to what John sees here. Remember Daniel had a vision I mentioned of four beasts that represented four empires. First was like a lion, second was like a bear, third was like a leopard, and the fourth one had ten horns, like here. Babylon was the first beast, like a lion, fierce in consuming power. The second empire, Medo-Persia, the Medo-Persian empire, represented by a bear, was like a bear, lumbering but very strong. The third was Greece, portrayed as a leopard because it speedily covered the earth.

Alexander the Great took over the world very, very quickly. So John sees a similar vision but in reverse and as a composite. In other words, this beast in Revelation 13 has all of the elements and characteristics of the previous empires and emperors. So think of it as an amalgamation of Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus the Great, Alexander the Great, all the Caesars, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, all rolled into one guy. A beast rising out of the sea and this description.

A couple things to make note of. Who gives him his power? Satan. The dragon gives him power, gives him authority, gives him a throne. Now you might ask, well, is it his to give?

Yes, it is. And here's why. God gave authority of the earth to Adam. Adam turned it over to Satan at the fall.

It was delivered to Satan. This is why when Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, Luke chapter 4, the devil said to Jesus, all of this authority I will give you and their glory for this has been delivered to me and I give it to whomever I wish. This is why Jesus called the devil the ruler of this age. This is why Paul called the devil the god of this world. So Satan empowers him. And then notice also that his authority is worldwide. So there's wickedness and now world domination. Look at verse 7. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and overcome them and authority was given him, watch this, over every tribe, tongue and nation.

That's Skip Heitzig. With a message from his series, The End is Near, find the full message as well as books, booklets and full teaching series at connectwithskipp.com. Right now, listen as Skip shares how you can share life-changing teaching from God's unchanging word with more people around the world. Jesus is coming back for his church and we want to make sure that as many people as possible hear the good news of salvation in him.

You can be part of taking the teachings that you love to even more people and places. Your gift today helps connect even more people to the gospel and keep these messages that you love coming to you. Here's how you can give now. Visit connectwithskipp.com slash donate to give a gift. That's connectwithskipp.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion of Skip's message, The Antichrist Revealed. The world by this time has rejected the lamb and in his place they have received the beast.

He will get worship. The wickedness, world domination, wonder, worship. Here's the fifth characteristic, words. Words.

Now notice this. Notice in verse five and he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies and he was given authority to continue 42 months, that's three and a half years. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-12 05:13:59 / 2024-02-12 05:22:27 / 8

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