The Antichrist, Pt. 1

The Antichrist, Pt. 1

Scripture: Revelation 13:2, Daniel 7:1-3, Daniel 7:23
What or who is the anti-Christ? There are lots of speculations about this Bible teaching. People are seeking to pin this term on all sorts of people today. What does the Bible say about the anti-Christ? There is a parallel between the antichrist and the beast in Revelation. The beast imitates Christ in certain ways. But the devil is not the antichrist. So, who or what is the antichrist?

Coming: One World Church (PB) by Gary Gibbs

Coming: One World Church (PB) by Gary Gibbs
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Recording: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join our hosts Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw, speakers for the Amazing Facts Ministry as they now open the Bible and discuss themes that affect your life today. Stay tuned because the next 15 minutes will deepen your understanding of God's Word.

John Bradshaw: Hi friends and welcome again to Bible Talk, where we talk about what the bible says to us today. I'm John Bradshaw, with me is Gary Gibbs. Hi Gary.

Gary Gibbs: Hi John, how are you doing today?

John: I'm excited about what we're about to study today, Gary. I'm glad to be here. I'm glad you're here too because we've got a good subject to really... sink our teeth into.

Gary: We really do. This is one of those topics that you hear a lot about but you really don't know where people are going with it. It's all the about the anti-Christ.

John: Today it's a big-deal subject. Movies about it. Books about it. People talk about it. Not too many people have a definitive answer when you come to this subject. There's a lot of endeavorment subject matter out there. We're gonna try to dig into this and lead somewhere and sort of cut through the mass of confusion of the subject.

Gary: John, I went on the Internet just a few moments ago and I was looking up what does the Internet have to say about the anti-Christ, it's really quite interesting what I found there.

John: You're gonna find all sorts out there. I'm sure.

Gary: Listen to the first thing that comes up on the search engine.

John: OK.

Gary: "David Hasselhoff is the anti-Christ and I have proof."

John: [laughs] Isn't that the actor? Hollywood guy?

Gary: Oh yeah, "Baywatch."

John: OK. He's the anti-Christ, huh?

Gary: Of course, you don't know much about "Baywatch." Neither do I. But it says it right here, "Baywatch." And guess what the Number Two anti-Christ site is?

John: I hate to think.

Gary: [laughs] Well this is actually better. Sam Walton is the anti-Christ.

John: No way!

Gary: Founder of Wal-Mart.

John: Is that right?

Gary: And I could just go on and on and on and there is all this speculative stuff about the anti-Christ. And it reminds me of a time I was watching a TV preachers, and he was preaching on the anti-Christ. And John, I was a new Christian but it still sticks in my head. He read one Bible text, John. In a 40 minutes sermon, one Bible text, and the rest of the time he just told his own ideas. Is that all we have in the Bible on the anti-Christ? Just one Bible text?

John: Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to think so. I know there will be a lot of people listening today who remember when it was fashionable to think that Henry Kissinger was the anti-Christ.

Gary: Yeah.

John: Ronald Reagan was tagged as the anti-Christ.

Gary: 'Cause he had six letters in each of his three names.

John: That's right.

Gary: Six Six Six.

John: And then somebody came to me one day after a seminar I had been holding. He was convinced that I was all wrong and that I needed to know that "Proctor & Gamble", was the anti-Christ, you see. And I said to him, "Now listen. That doesn't seem to be right." And he said, "Oh no, Proctor & Gamble Corporate Headquarters are in... ". Are you ready?

Gary: OK, where's it at?

John: Do you know where they're located?

Gary: [laughing] No, I don't.

John: "Proctor & Gamble's Head-office, " he said, " is based in...". He said this with a straight face too, " ... is based in SIN-cinnati."

Gary: Oh, boy. [laughs]

John: And the anti-Christ is the man of SIN and so because they're in SIN-cinnati. That's THEM.

Gary: Oh my. I tell... you know what really scares me? The anti-Christ, John, according that, doesn't have to be real deceptive, 'cause people sound really gullible.

John: That's right, when you're that gullible, the devil doesn't have to do too much to fool you.

Gary: No, but, the anti-Christ. Can we really know, John, who it is?

John: OK, let's imagine that we can't. The Bible has SO much in it about the anti-Christ Revelations is replete with references to the Beast. You would even supposed to suggest that God would warn us against the beast. "Don't follow the Beast. Don't receive the Mark of the Beast. Don't worship the Beast. But I'm not gonna tell you who the Beast is?"

Gary: It'd be a cruel game of cosmic Hide-and-Seek, wouldn't it? He's just... He's teasing us then.

John: Yeah. It'd be God acting with, you know, no love and compassion and... it just doesn't make sense at all. Anti-Christ, the word itself doesn't appear in the Bible too many times. John talked about it in the "little Johns." We tend to think of anti-Christ, you know, you break it down into ANTI and CHRIST. ANTI meaning Against. Well, that little word ANTI can also mean "in PLACE of." And really, anti-Christ, in the last days, is the Devil seeking to take the PLACE of, and the POSITION of, and receive the WORSHIP of ... Jesus Christ.

Gary: Hmm, in fact, I just looked it up in my bible here. The word anti-Christ is found four times, in four verses.

John: Yeah, it's not all through the Bible, is it?

Gary: Yeah, it's all in Fist John, and, Second John, actually.

John: But you know, in these days and this day and age we've taken the word anti-Christ and we put it on the Beast and, you know, that's fair enough! If you like. I have no problem with people using that word. Now I mentioned how anti-Christ is gonna seek to take the place of Christ. In the Book of revelation you've got two major powers. You've got the Beast, right? You've read about the Beast Revelation 13, Revelation 14. But all the way through the Book of Revelation, and people seem to forget, you read about the Lamb. The Lamb is Jesus Christ. You've these two opposing palace [?] if you like seeking the Supremacy of the world and seeking to leading the world. One leading love, one leading by force. Consider the similarities between the Beast and the Lamb. You ready?

Gary: OK.

John: OK, they both rise up out of the water. Revelation 13, I saw a Beast rise up out of the sea. In the Gospel, you read the Jesus rose out of the water, after he was Baptized.

Gary: Alright. Now does the beast literally rise up out of the sea?

John: Well..., without going into big detail, I'm just gonna say no. This is not a literal-

Gary: Well I'd have to come back to that, I'd like to find out more about that.

John: Very good point. They both exercise power for three and a half years. You read the beast doing that in Revelation. That was the length of Jesus earthly ministry. Both Jesus and the Beast receive a dead wound. Christ when he died on the cross. The Beast, you read about it in Revelation 13. Number Four point, they both come back to life. You see, the beast is imitating the Lamb. Jesus came back to life Easter Sunday morning. They both receive worship and honor, both seek to lead the world. A lot of similarities. Because the beast is imitating the Lamb, and trying to take its place.

Gary: So the beast is actually trying to deflect worship and obedience from the True Christ to himself.

John: Absolutely. If you read through Revelation, you discover pretty quickly, that all the world is compelled. See, Christ compels no-one to love him. But this beast compels people to worship him. He wants worship and there's only one person who is entitled to worship. That's God. That's Jesus Christ. But here the beast seeks that worship that belongs only to Jesus.

Gary: That reminds me, John, of somebody else who wants the worship of the world other than Jesus. I think about Lucifer, Satan, when he took Jesus up to a pinnacle on a mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and he told Jesus, you bow down and worship me, I'll give you all these kingdoms.

John: That's right. Was he successful in that endeavor?

Gary: No, Jesus rebuked him.

John: That's right but he's got to try it again He's going to try it again in the last days of this earth's history the devil is going to try to receive the worship of the world, this time through the beast. He inspires. He sets the thing up. He motivates it. Ultimately he rules it really. And so, in seeking worship he seeks to get it this time through this beast you read about in Revelation.

Gary: Let me ask you a question then. You're saying the devil seeks to get worship through the beast but isn't the devil the antichrist? Are they two separate beings or is the devil the Antichrist because I've heard many sermons where the pastor says that the devil is the antichrist.

John: Oh, no, the devil is not the antichrist. He's certainly against Christ and he would certainly like to take his place. I think he probably tried that in heaven and that's why he got the boot. But the devil and the Antichrist are two different things. In fact, you read that the devil gives to the beast his power and his seat and great authority.

Gary: Where do you read that at, John?

John: You read that in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 13 in the early verses right there. Let me read it to you, as a matter of fact.

Gary: OK.

John: It says in Revelation, Chapter 13. Boy, I've got to find that verse very quickly. Verse 2. I'm looking all around it and it's right there. "The beast which I saw was like unto a alimony's feet. His feet as the feet of a bear. His mouth as the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him...". That's the beast". His power and seat and great authority". And we know, because Revelation 12:9 says the dragon is Satan. So Satan gives his power to the beast. Two completely different entities, you see.

Gary: All right. Then the devil is not the Antichrist. It's two separate entities. Then is the Antichrist a supernatural being? Maybe it's one of the devil's angels or some other supernatural force? Is it that..

John: Let's look at the way the Bible defines the beast. OK, you want to do that?

Gary: Let's do that.

John: Yeah, because you asked about this beast. Is it a real beast? I remember being in Washington State right there on the coast. Beautiful spot, and I met a man who had an ocean view from his house. He had read this and he said that every day he would get out of bed and go to his picture window and look out that window, waiting to see if this was the day that a beast came rising up out of the sea.

Gary: He was serious about this?

John: Oh, looking for a seven-headed beast with all these horns.

Gary: He might not come up out of the Pacific. It might be the Atlantic.

John: Yeah, you'd be stuck then, wouldn't you?

Gary: That's right.

John: Let's find out how the Bible characterizes this beast. Now I'm going to go to the Book of Daniel, Daniel 7. Understand that when you want to understand Revelation you have to study it in light of the Book of Daniel. Did you know that?

Gary: Yes, they go together. One explains the other.

John: Oh, sure, never forget what the Revelation about 400 verses in Revelation, most of them or most of them either come from or contain elements that come from the Old Testament.

Gary: 276 I've understood.

John: Right around that number. So when John was writing the Book of Revelation his frame of reference were the Old Testament prophecies and he used those symbols in the Revelation. So to understand Revelation, go back to the source symbols.

Gary: So we're seeing a beast in Revelation. He comes up out of the sea, does the work of the Antichrist. What then does the beast represent?

John: OK, Daniel 7, Verse 1. Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed. Verse 2. "I saw my vision by night and behold the four winds of the heavens strove upon the great sea." Verse 3. "Four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another."

Gary: Do we have four Antichrists?

John: Well, four beasts in Daniel 7. And what are these beasts all about? He describes them. One is like a lion. And one is like a bear. One's like a leopard.

Gary: Maybe your friend in Washington will see one come up out of the Pacific.

John: I tell you, if he sees one come out of the Pacific, he needs to move to higher ground. That's what I would do. What are these beasts? Look in Verse 17. It says, "These great beasts which are four..." Don't miss this. This is key. "...are four kings."

Gary: Hmm. Four kings.

John: "That will rise out of the earth." Verse 23 stretches that and says, "The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom." So in Bible prophesy a beast is a symbol used to represent a kingdom.

Gary: So we're looking for a kingdom controlled by the devil.

John: Yes. You could put it that way.

Gary: And it will rule the world and do the work of the Antichrist. It is the Antichrist.

John: That's right. So when you are looking for the Antichrist, the Antichrist and the beast are the same thing. You're looking for a kingdom.

Gary: I wonder, John, if that kingdom is now on planet earth.

John: As we study this, this is going to become very, very clear. We're not going to muddy the water. Recently, before Y2K, a well-known preacher was asked who is the Antichrist? Can we know? And his answer was we can't know. We don't need to know. Can you imagine God saying we don't need to know and understand this?

Gary: Not after all he's said about the Antichrist and to beware of it.

John: In the Book of Revelation he says don't worship the beast, worship the lamb. And as we study this that's what it's all about.

Gary: Well, next time, John, can we look at who this kingdom might be?

John: That's what we'll do next time. Friend, don't miss it. Thanks for being with us today and we'll look for you next time here on Bible Talk. [music]

Recording: If you'd like more information on what we have been studying today, we have a comprehensive Bible study guide that we would love to share with you that's absolutely free. This study includes many of the texts we've just discussed and expands on the subject, including information you'll want to know. To receive this free, information Bible study guide simply call, write or email and ask for BT115. Antichrist is alive today. The toll free number is 866-Bible says. That's 866-242-5372. You can write to us at Bible Talk, P.O. Box 1058, Roseville, California 95678 or email us at bibletalk@amazingfacts.org. Bible Talk has been produced in association with Amazing Facts in the studios of Life Talk Radio.

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