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The King Tolerates His Rival – Part 1 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
February 12, 2024 1:00 am

The King Tolerates His Rival – Part 1 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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February 12, 2024 1:00 am

The Bible speaks about a future anti-Christ, a great world leader who seeks and receives the worship of mankind. He will deceive the nations and set himself up against the Lordship of Christ. In this message from Revelation 13, Pastor Lutzer provides an overview of the anti-Christ’s career. How will he mimic and rival the real Jesus?

This month’s special offer is available for a donation of any amount. Get yours at rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. 

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. The Bible tells about a future Antichrist, a great world leader who seeks and gets the worship of mankind. This evil being will be a rival to the real Jesus. His career will mimic that of Christ as he dies and is raised again. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, is it possible that the Antichrist is already among us? Well, you know, Dave, the answer to that question very simply is yes, it's possible. But of course, we have to be very careful because you and I know that throughout history, there have been many people who have thought they have known who the Antichrist was, and they were wrong.

So we don't know. But what I am deeply convinced about is that in the 13th chapter of the book of Revelation, where it discusses Antichrist, Christ shall arise. He will demand worship. The unity of the world will be based not only on religion, but also on economics, as all of us know.

And it certainly seems as if we are headed in that direction. I've written a book entitled The King is Coming. And the subtitle is 10 Events That Will Change Your Future Forever. For a gift of any amount, this book can be yours. And one of the chapters, of course, is on Antichrist. Here's what you do.

Go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337, rtwoffer.com. Thank you so much for joining us even as now we continue to study God's Word and the coming Antichrist. In the Hofburg Library in Vienna, there is a spear believed by many to be the one that was used by the Roman soldier who pierced Christ's side. When Hitler was in Vienna, before he became famous, he spent a great deal of time in the Hofburg. And it is said that as he looked at that spear, and he believed that it was authentic, even though there were 45 other spears that claimed the same honor or dishonor, we should say. But it is said that when he looked at that spear and stared at it, he invited its spirit to possess him. And one observer said that Hitler was engulfed with ectoplasmic light when he did that. Later on when Hitler went to Munich, as all of us know, he was taken into the deepest levels of occult transformation. Dietrich Eckhart, who was Hitler's mentor, said that Hitler is the one who has been anointed as Messiah.

He shall dance, he says, but I have written the tune. And because I have introduced him to the powers, I shall have had more impact on Germany than any other German. One of the observers said that Hitler's body was but the shell for the spirit that inhabited him. Why is it that when we speak about Antichrist, we always think of Hitler?

We don't think of Stalin, or we don't think of Mao Zedong, all of whom killed also, multiplied millions of people. We think of Hitler as kind of a prototype of the Antichrist for a couple of reasons. First of all, because he arose in Germany democratically. Well, not exactly, because he didn't have a majority in the Reichstag, but he was able to eliminate all of his rivals and end up as der Führer, which means the leader. There's another reason, and that is that the Germans adored him. I've spoken to Germans who lived during that period of time, and they said that you Americans will never understand the impact that Hitler had on us, the sense of euphoria. Skeptics would go to Nurnberg at those great rallies, and they would come back saying, our father, Adolf who art in Nurnberg, the third Reich, come.

What a dictator he was. There's another reason why I like to think of him as a prototype of the Antichrist, and that is because of his hatred for the Jews. Because the Bible teaches that another man, even more evil than Hitler is going to come, as we're going to see in a moment, and he also is going to try to exterminate the Jewish race and do evils that Hitler could only think about, evils that modern technology have now allowed us to commit. What I'd like to do is to ask you to take your Bibles in just a moment and turn to the 13th chapter, the 13th chapter of the book of Revelation, and we are going to stay there. I'm going to be reading some other verses, but the 13th chapter of Revelation is the passage where I want you to be. I want you to stay because we're going to be looking at specific verses about the coming world ruler when Jesus chooses to tolerate a very evil rival. When we think of Antichrist, remember that the phrase anti means against.

Everything that Jesus does, Satan is going to want to do and to some extent, he'll do it. There are at least many things. Somebody found a list of 20 similarities between Jesus and Antichrist.

I'm going to give you only five or six or seven. Some of the similarities are this. Both of them will claim to be God. Jesus claimed to be God and Antichrist will claim to be God. Both of them make a covenant with Israel. Both of them appear in a temple. Both of them are crowned and are worshiped. Both of them perform signs and wonders.

Both of them have armies and both of them are put to death and rise from the dead. Antichrist. I'm going to begin in the 13th chapter of the book of Revelation and explain the first few verses and then what we're going to do is we're going to take a tour through the life of Antichrist and we're going to survey his career. You'll notice it says, and I saw a beast. John sees this beast by the way and I want to warn you it is a gruesome beast.

This is not a domesticated animal. This is a ferocious beast, hideous and indeed grotesque. I saw a beast arising out of the sea with ten horns and seven heads with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its head and the beast that I saw was like a leopard. Its feet were like that of a bear. Its mouth was like a lion's mouth and to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.

Let's stop there for only a moment because we must hurry on. When it says that this beast had ten horns, those horns represent kings that are going to very gladly execute all the desires of Antichrist. They will rule during his period of time but they are going to be submissive to him and they'll carry out his demands. The seven heads refer to a succession of different kingdoms and the animal that you see there, the leopard, that represents Greece, bear, Medo-Persia and then a lion, a reference to Babylon. You say, how come you know all that? You just make this stuff up.

Well, no, not really. If you were to look in the book of Daniel, you'd see many of the same animals, you'd see many of the same sequences and by the way, this exact description occurs about the red dragon in chapter 12, the previous chapter here in the book of Revelation. When you think of Antichrist, you have to think of a kingdom and you also have to think of a person because his personage embodies this whole kingdom, this conglomeration, this group of revived states and powers that most probably are going to come out of Europe, the revived Roman Empire of Europe. Well, all that by way of introduction, now we'd like to begin on the career of Antichrist but before we do, you're going to ask the question, where are we going to be when all of this is happening? Well, if the scenario is correct that we should think of the return of Jesus in two stages and not just one, what this would mean is that the church is raptured, we who believe in Jesus and trust him are going to be in heaven and then there's going to be a period of time, perhaps years, when some of the various countries all get aligned for the end time and it is then that Antichrist is going to arise and he is going to begin the seven-year period by making a covenant with Israel and during this period of time, as we learned in previous messages, people are going to be saved, we're going to find that there are saints here in the tribulation and they are going to interest us specifically and all kinds of things are going to be going on. Now, if you don't believe in the pre-tribulation rapture, then as you look at this, this will be an event that all of us, if we are alive at that time, will be participating in and I think that as you think about it and we go through the text, you're going to hope that the pre-tribulational rapture is the correct view.

I can guarantee that will be your preference but we're not basing it on preference. We have to look at the Bible and find out how do these pieces fit together. All right, the career of Antichrist.

Number one, he will arise out of a revived Roman empire. You know that if this were a classroom, we'd go back to the book of Daniel and read all kinds of passages. Daniel made all these predictions and the book of Revelation is like a hand going into a glove. When you understand Daniel, you're really set up to understand the book of Revelation but let me read to you, first of all, in the book of Daniel in chapter seven, it says that there was a little horn, a little ruler and he subdued others and then he became this mouth speaking great blasphemies, etc.

It's a reference to Antichrist. He's going to begin small. Nobody's going to know who he is. He's going to be quite unobtrusive but then as he gains power, then you will see his true colors but let me read what it says in chapter eight of Daniel. And at the latter end of their kingdom when the transgressions have reached their limit, a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, he's going to be very clever, shall arise.

His power will be great but not by his own power. He shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does and destroy mighty men and people who are the saints. By his cunning, he shall make deceit prosper and shall destroy many. And then he's going to be broken by the prince of princes, namely Jesus and that's exactly what the book of Revelation teaches as we shall see in just a moment. You know there's another passage in chapter seven where it says regarding Antichrist, he shall throw truth to the ground and shall deceive many and he is going to deceive many and throw truth to the ground. So first of all, he comes out of a revived Roman Empire as the book of Daniel would teach. Secondly, he makes a covenant with Israel which he will break.

This is really Daniel chapter nine. In Daniel chapter nine, you have a reference to a prince who's going to come, who's going to make a covenant with Israel for one week and actually when you look at the text, you know that it's one week of years, namely seven years. An Antichrist is going to have so much power that when he makes this covenant with Israel, the world will finally say that this Middle East, this cauldron that we read about all the time in the news has finally settled down, finally there's some strength over there in Europe and Antichrist, of course he won't be called that, but this ruler has finally been able to satisfy Israel and put enough pressure on its neighbors to live in peace. So much peace that it may be during this period of time when there's actually a temple built next to the Dome of the Rock because when three and a half years have passed, this Antichrist actually goes into that temple and declares himself to be God. One other reference I want to read about that is in the book of 2 Thessalonians chapter two.

It's a passage you really have to read on your own later, but it says this, he who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, he takes his seat in the temple of God proclaiming himself to be God. And then it indicates how he's going to end and I'm going to tell you that story so I won't read the rest of the verses just now. So first of all what he does is he will arise out of a revived Roman Empire, he makes a covenant with Israel, he breaks it in the middle of the tribulation period, goes to Jerusalem, goes into the temple and says, behold your God.

Third, he will have a miraculous recovery of a fatal wound. Alright now we're in the text and we're going to stay in the text of Revelation chapter 13 for the rest of the message. So your Bibles are open, if you're using one of our Bibles here it's page 1035.

You need to see it in your own mind and heart. You'll notice it says in verse 3, one of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound but its mortal wound was healed and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. It is going to appear as if antichrist died. Now you say well the text says it seemed as if he had a mortal wound, do you think he actually died? Well there are those who believe that he will actually die and they base that on the fact that in chapter 5 verse 6 of Revelation it uses the very same expression for Jesus. When John says I saw a lamb as if it had been slain and that's a reference to Christ and we know that Jesus actually died. Same expression, so some people think that indeed antichrist died. Other people think no, Satan cannot raise people from the dead unless there's a very special dispensation given to him by God. So it appears as if he's dead and is made alive and perhaps that's the right view. All that we know is that the people sure believe that he is dead and the people sure believe that he rises from the dead. The whole earth follows the beast. A preacher friend of mine says just visualize this. This man is so powerful and somebody assassinates him, he's there in a coffin in some great place rotunda in the Middle East and thousands of people are lining up and all the television cameras are on him and then suddenly he wiggles in the coffin, crawls out and says I'm your Messiah. You can imagine that everybody's going to believe him. That's why the text says who is like this beast.

We have to continue to go on, don't we? And they worship the dragon. The dragon is Satan.

Chapter 12, he's called the red dragon because he's filled with the blood of the saints. They worship the dragon for he had given his authority to the beast. The beast represents here all the wishes of the devil.

It's time for me to put my Bible down and just think about this. This has been Satan's desire throughout the ages to duplicate everything that Jesus has ever done and to receive the worship of the world. That's why he said to Jesus you know if you if you just bow down and worship me I'll give you the kingdoms. Satan longs to be worshipped and now he has somebody in place who is being worshipped and in the process of worshipping him they worship the devil, the great dragon.

But I mean if he looked as if he was dead and rose again what does it say there in the last part of verse four? Who is like the beast and who can fight against it? How would you like to take on somebody who was dead and is now alive?

I mean how are you going to fight him? And people will be so eager to believe, so eager to believe and our world of spirituality is preparing them for this. You know the whole idea oh I'm into spirituality not religion.

It's really an occultic kind of religion. It's a deceptive kind of religion and people lacking discernment are going to simply say he's our man. Can't you hear it already? They'll say well you know Jesus claimed to be the Messiah but how many people saw Jesus?

The disciples and then later on he appeared to several hundred people we're told in the Bible but it's nothing like this. I mean if this is on national television where everybody can see what's happening I mean who is going to oppose him? And you can see it already. People are going to do that.

Now let's hurry on. He's going to use fear to rule the world. We're just going to look at some of these verses and if you're understanding it it should give you chills. I mean this is this is unbelievable but we believe it because it's in God's word and we can actually see how it can happen.

That's a remarkable thing. You'll notice first of all I want to point out all of the things that he was given and then we're going to talk about who gave it to him. Verse five, he was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words and he was allowed to exercise authority for 42 months. Why 42 months? Three and a half years.

You get it? He declares himself to be God. Three and a half years passed before the seven years are up before Jesus returns.

So he's given this authority for 42 months. It that is the beast opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God blaspheming his name his dwelling that is those who dwell in the heaven. Somebody says he was given a mouth and so he was and it was a very big mouth and it was a very evil blasphemous foul mouth and all that he does is blaspheme God. Satan finally gets it out of his system and he can do that. Now it was also given to him verse seven. It was allowed for him to make war on the saints and to conquer them. This does not mean that he in any way made war against the saints spiritually and conquered them but physically he put them to death because as we'll see later if you don't have his mark you're dead.

You're dead. Wow and then this is certainly something that takes our breath away. You'll notice it says an authority was given to this beast over every tribe and people and language and nation and at last Satan rules the world. Everybody buys into him.

He's the way to go. We have found our messiah. We found the answer to the world's complex problems and search for peace. Here he is and the world worships and the world believes and then it says and all who dwell on the earth will worship it everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life for the lamb that was slain.

Not going to comment on that verse now but of course I will comment later because you can't avoid a nugget like that in the midst of this distress. These saints and the implications for us. So you'll notice that he controls the world religiously. Everybody worships him. Satan now controls the world politically.

Nobody is going to make war with him. He also controls the world economically. He's going to use economics to do it and that's why economics is so important. It is always the economy.

It is always always the economy. Now at this point your bibles are open. I have to introduce you to another beast. It says in verse 11 I saw another beast rising out of the earth that had two horns like a lamb and so forth. You can read this on your own but this again makes us just absolutely gasp. We gasp at the audacity of Satan. And you know my friend even though Satan has won that tremendous victory of worldwide power, all that we have to do is to continue to read in the book of Revelation and soon we discover that antichrist is in the lake of fire. No matter what you may be going through today, no matter what trial is coming in your direction, I want to give the encouragement that the scriptures would give to all of us that in the end those who believe in Christ will be victorious.

Well I've written a book entitled The King is Coming 10 Events That Will Change Your Future Forever. For a gift of any amount it can be yours. Here's what you do. Go to RTWOffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now in a moment I'm going to be giving you that contact info again because if you're like me sometimes you hear information and you don't have time to get that pen or pencil. But I want to share my heart with you and thank you in advance for helping us. Because of you the Ministry of Running to Win continues to expand and it's because of partners who pray for us who support this ministry. We are committed to getting the gospel of Jesus Christ to as many people as we possibly can. So once again that contact info.

Go to RTWOffer.com of course RTWOffers all one word or pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us at Running to Win 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard Chicago Illinois 60614. Running to Win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life. When Jesus returns in glory our world will be led by the Antichrist and just like matter and antimatter cannot coexist the Antichrist will find himself vanquished by the Son of God. Next time on Running to Win more teaching about the man who will be the antithesis of all that Jesus is. Thanks for listening to our series on the return of Christ. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-12 02:25:02 / 2024-02-12 02:33:52 / 9

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