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Showing posts from September, 2020

False Christ

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Will the Antichrist be a global tyrant or a false messiah sent by Satan to deceive and destroy the Church?   Most often, popular preaching presents the  Antichrist  as the ultimate global political leader, a tyrant bent on subjugating all nations through military and economic means. But New Testament descriptions show far more concern about deceivers working within the church to cause apostasy than with world political events - [ Abandoned church, Photo by Yoal Desurmont on Unsplash ].

Extent of the Beast's Reign

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In Revelation, rulers and nations refuse to follow the “Lamb”; instead, they render homage to the “Beast.”   In  Revelation , there are no geographic restrictions on the reign of the “ beast .”  ALL  the “ inhabitants of the earth ” take its “ mark ” and render homage to its “ image .” Not a single government resists the final incarnation of the “ ancient serpent ,” for it is granted “ authority over every tribe, people, tongue and nation .” There is no mention of any exception to the rule - [ Photo by Arpit Rastogi on Unsplash ].

Fall of Babylon Announced

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Angels announce the judicial sentence of God on “Babylon” and the “inhabitants of the earth,” but “rest” awaits the faithful followers of Jesus .  Next, “ another angel ” announced the “ fall of Babylon .” He was followed by “ a third angel ” who pronounced the judicial sentence on the men who gave allegiance to the “ beast from the sea .” The passage uses Old Testament language from pronouncements against Sodom and “ Gog and Magog .” In contrast to the impenitent, the “ saints ” look forward to “ rest .” - [ Photo by  Jonny Gios  on Unsplash ].

Everlasting Gospel - Final Harvest

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Whether one follows the Lamb or the Beast, one will reap everlasting consequences in the final harvest  -  Revelation 14:6-7 .  The preceding sections presented two very different groups - the “ inhabitants of the earth ” that rendered homage to the “ beast ,” and the 144,000  priests of God , the “ first-fruits ” of the earth purchased by the blood of the “ Lamb .” Now, an angelic herald issues the final summons to humanity while time remains before the “ final hour .” - [ Photo by  Luca  on Unsplash ].

144,000 Priests on Zion

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The 144,000 “males” on Mount Zion comprise the “first-fruit” of the final harvest, the priestly company that “follows the Lamb”  –  Revelation 14:1-5 .  Previously, John saw the 144,000 “ males ” from the tribes of Israel encamped in the wilderness. Now, they appear together on “ Mount Zion ,” a priestly company and the “ first fruits ” of the greater harvest to come. They stand with the “ Lamb ” in contrast to the “ inhabitants of the earth ,” who bowed and rendered homage to the “ beast .” - [ Photo by lovely shots on Unsplash ].

Beast Wages War

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The language of “war” is used metaphorically to portray the attacks of the “beast” against the saints  –  Revelation 11:7 .  Revelation  uses “war” and related terms to illustrate Satan’s attacks against the saints, the followers of the “ Lamb .” The book shows no interest in conventional or nuclear warfare between nation-states. Instead, the “ Dragon ” strives to annihilate the church before his allotted time expires, and he does so through deception, compromise, and persecution against the church - [ Photo by  Glenn Carstens-Peters  on Unsplash ].

Mark of the Beast

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All men and women that refuse to follow the “Lamb” will render homage to the “beast” and take its “mark”  –  Revelation 13:16-18 .  The “ false prophet ” uses economic power  against anyone who refuses to give full allegiance to it. The “ mark of the beast ” is an economic tool. Commerce is the lifeblood of the World-Power and leveling economic sanctions against peoples is its primary enforcement mechanism. And economic restrictions mean deprivation and suffering - [ Photo by Dmitry Demidko on Unsplash ].

Beast from the Earth

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The beast from the earth mimics the Lamb. It is the mouthpiece of the Dragon, and the propagandist for the first beast  –  Revelation 13:11-15 .  The “ great voice in heaven ” pronounced “ woe ” on the “ inhabitants of  the earth  and of  the sea , because the Devil descended to you, having great wrath .” He then launched his war against the “ seed of the woman ” by summoning his own “seed” - the “ beast from  the sea ,” and now, the “ beast from  the earth ” - [ Photo by  Elena Mozhvilo  on Unsplash ].

War Against the Saints

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The Beast is authorized to wage war against the “saints” for its overlord, the Dragon  –  Revelation 13:6-10 .  The “ Dragon ” tasks the “ beast ” with the annihilation of the church. To  facilitate this, he receives authority over all nations and peoples. Men are divided into two groups: Those who “ render homage to the beast ,” and those who “ follow the Lamb ,” that is, the “ saints .” - [ Dragon Fire - Photo by Carlos Cram on Unsplash ].

Beast from the Sea

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The Dragon began his war on the “seed of the woman” by summoning his “seed,” the beast from the sea – Revelation 13:1-5 .  The “ Dragon ” was poised to launch his “ war ” on the “ seed of the woman .” Standing on the seashore, he began to summon his own “ seed ,” beginning with the “ beast from the sea. ” Having failed to destroy either the “ son ” or the “ woman ,” he determined to annihilate her “ seed ,” those who have the “ testimony of Jesus .” - [ Photo by Thom Holmes on Unsplash ].

Son versus Serpent

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War broke out in “heaven” with the “Dragon” poised to destroy the messianic “son” as soon as he was “born” – Revelation 12:1-6 .  John saw a new “ sign ” in the heavens, the woman “ clothed with the sun, and the moon beneath her feet ,” and wearing a “ crown of twelve stars .” She was pregnant and about to give birth to her “ son ,” which was in fulfillment of the messianic promise in the second Psalm - The one who was destined to “ rule the nations .” - [ Dragon - Photo by FĂ©lix Besombes on Unsplash ]