The Antichrist

The Antichrist

Scripture: 2 Thessalonians 2:3
Date: 09/22/2012  Lesson: 12
"In correcting the Thessalonians' false theology of last-day events, Paul reveals truth about end-time deceptions."
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Welcome to central study hour. This is brought to you from Central Seventh-day Adventist church in Sacramento, California, in the United States of America. We are thrilled that you have joined us to study God's Word together as I know many of you faithfully do every week because you have a desire to grow closer and closer to Jesus and be ready for his coming - as it's our desire here. We are going to be singing, in this presentation, a couple of hymns that are just joyful and they talk about his first coming and his second coming. So our first one is about his second coming that we are anticipating that's going to happen very soon.

Hymn #218 - 'when he cometh' - this comes as a request from sara in Alabama, siwel in ArKansas, ephraim, ilse, megan, sherry, trudy, and harley in australia, roMaine in the bahamas, autumn, starry, and heather in California, amy in Canada, Benjamin and hosanna in china, sherace in england, tevita in fiji, bob and Paula in Idaho, satish in india, teresa in malawi, leo, dorothy, and Solomon in Michigan, howard and dian in Mississippi, alex in Montana, kyle and tamzin in new zealand, joey and jobe in the Philippines, ali and bongani in south africa, eliezer in Texas, la toya in trinidad and tobago, Joel and maripat in the united arab emirates and mackenzie in zambia. It's a favorite and people are looking for Jesus' coming all over this planet - that's exciting. Hymn #218 - we're going to sing all three verses. You know, I have been singing that song since I was in - like kindergarten - I think we sang it in cradle roll. And I remember as a little girl - I was just thinking about this as we were singing - I used to think of all the jewels - the different colors of jewels - the amethyst, the emerald, the rubies and everything and I thought - as a little girl I used to think, 'how beautiful those crowns are going to be.

' And now, as an adult, I'm still thinking how beautiful those are going to be but we are really the jewels in Jesus' crown. And how beautiful is that, that I can be more precious than any precious jewel that he has created. I am his created being. It's like, what a blessing this song is from a long time ago to now in my life. Our next song that we're going to sing is hymn #23.

And this is a request from one person and this is kemi in nigeria and you're thinking, 'well, I don't really know this song' but as we begin singing a lot of you are going to recognize it. So we are going to sing hymn #23 - all three verses. Don't you love that? Love it. Amen. Let's pray.

Oh, Dear Lord, we are so thankful this morning that we can come before you and we can sing songs of praises - praises of your first coming that gave you, as an example to us, of who we can be through your power and, most of all, that you gave your life. You were king. You created us. And yet you came and you humbled yourself to the lowest of humility just to save each one of us Lord, we're so grateful. And as we sing songs of your second coming we know that you are coming soon, Lord, just place our hearts a burning fire to share this love and this everlasting Gospel with those around us and that as many people as would be saved will be because of what you did for us.

We just thank you and we can't even begin to thank you enough, but here we are with open hearts and open minds and open ears to learn to be more like you. We just ask your blessing on pastor mike this presentation - that he will just speak your words and that we will just be transformed into new creatures. We pray these things in your precious name, Jesus. Amen. Our study will be brought to us by pastor mike thompson and he is the health and outreach minister - thank you debbie - here at Sacramento central.

Thank you very much choristers - I think that's the right name to give them, isn't it? Choir - they do a good job. Thank you and Happy Sabbath everybody. Good to see you all today. And I want to move on - before I move on here's our special offer today. It's offer #125 - 'who is the antiChrist?' - Good question.

Well, here's the answer in this book. 'Who's the antiChrist?' You can get this by calling -866-study-more or -866-788-3966. That's a free offer and that's actually our theme today. We're looking at the antiChrist here. We have a memory text, which is Thessalonians chapter 2 and verse 3 - and I'd like to read that when I can get to it.

Thessalonians chapter 2 and verse 3. It says, "let no man deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first and that man of sin be revealed, The Son of perdition." Or, as it says also in the version that was used here, 'son of destruction.' You mention the antiChrist in Christian circles and invariably you get people's immediate attention. You got some people who will say, 'the antiChrist' - it always has something about it that fills them with this inquisitiveness and, indeed, so it should. And you will find people generally will say, 'the antiChrist - he's the one that's going to be a key player just before Jesus comes.' Well, yes he is, but to a lot of people out there - especially those who are into the 'rapture' theory, they have a different idea of the antiChrist. They think the antiChrist is an entity, a person, or something yet to come in the very near future.

But actually, that's not the case. The antiChrist has been around a long time and as we study the Word of God - as we connect the dots in the Word of God with the testimony of human history, we find that he's been here a long time. But he has, indeed, a final finale to come in which, indeed, he will play a crucial part just before Jesus comes. So with that said, I want us to move on this morning and look in the Word of God and identify the true nature of the true antiChrist, not this fictitious one - and I say that kindly - which a lot of the rapturist folks have kind of conjured up in all sincerity, but it's based upon a pure misunderstanding - absolutely pure misunderstanding of the Word of God. So, to begin this study we need to go back about 200 years - sorry, about 2,000 years - to start picking up the scent - sniffing our way along and picking up the track of the antiChrist.

So let's go in 2 Thessalonians still - we're going to read 2 Thessalonians 2, the first two verses. And if somebody would care to read that, that would be good. "Now brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to him, we ask you not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by the Spirit or by the word or by the letter, as if from us as though the day of the Christ had come." Thank you very much, manjeet, appreciate that. This - these two verses we read here, it makes very evident that the Christians way back there in thessalonica 2,000 years ago had drawn the conclusion that they were already in the last events leading up to the immediate second coming of Christ. But you look at the time context, it was only just over years before that Jesus had actually died and ascended to heaven, so they were really speeding up things here - 20 years back - now he's about ready to come.

Well, we can't criticize them for that, obviously, we should all have that eagerness and preparedness for the coming of Jesus. But in order to correct this false theology and have them understand that the second coming of Christ was not quite imminent, Paul continues in verse 3, which we read as the memory verse, but again - we're going to read it again, but let us notice something very significant - that he mentions something of great import that was certainly to happen before that longing and that grand anticipation of the second coming of Christ. I'm going to read it again myself - verse 3 - he's telling them here, "let no man deceive you by any means for that day, that is the day of Christ coming, shall not come except there come a falling away first" - or a rebellion is going to come first - "and that man of sin be revealed, The Son of perdition." - Or destruction. So Paul's telling them, 'yes, yes, the day of Christ is coming, but not quite yet. Before this happens there is going to be a major rebellion - a major apostasy against God.

' And the leader of this rebellion - and Paul gives him a name here, it's The Son of perdition, but also, the man of sin. Pretty strong title, isn't it? But now comes the deceptive part about this whole thing - Paul's telling them here - the deceptive part, which has fooled many people down through the ages - this man of sin is actually one who presents himself under a disguise of religion. So powerful is his deception in the religious world that in 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2, verse - the latter part of verse 4 - I'm going to read it a little bit back to front here. So powerful is he in this deception, I read here that "he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." So on one hand he's the man of sin and yet at the same time he's here sitting in the temple claiming to be God, professing that he is God - and that's the deceptive thing here. And while all the time this powerful religious figure claims to sit there and be God himself.

But the important point to note here is that Paul is not referring again now to an antiChrist sitting as God in the old Jewish temple - it was still around in those days, it wasn't destroyed until a.d. 70 - And neither is Paul referring to a time in the future which the rapturists really latch onto and say that the Jewish temple is going to be rebuilt again in the very near future - Paul is not speaking of that and this antiChrist person sitting in Jerusalem where the temple has been rebuilt - he's not speaking about that at all. He's not speaking of a temple built of bricks and mortar - anciently or one in the future. And this is the main rub here, Paul is referring to the man of sin - the antiChrist - sitting in the temple of God - and that temple of God is to be understood not as a physical temple but as the church - the Christian church - the body of believers. Because when we move on from the old testament types, we find, you know, for example the lamb represents Christ, the priests they represented Christ our high priest.

But also, there is a symbolic meaning to the temple and it means the church of Jesus Christ. It is the body - and it is this temple that the antiChrist is going to sit in, plant his banner, claim to be God, and accept the worship and praise that should be given only to the sovereign Lord of this universe. Now, if you want a verse that substantiates that we, the church, are the temple, here's one right here. Corinthians chapter 6, verse 16. And I'd like somebody to read this - 2 Corinthians chapter 6, verse 16 - okay, then I'll - okay, sue's got it right here.

All right, sue. Now, sue's going to read this verse and I want you to take special note of how what I just said - the temple of God now is not some building in Jerusalem but it is the people of God, the church of God. Thank you sue, go ahead. "And what agreement hath the temple of God with the idols? For ye are the temple of the living God. As God hath said: 'I will dwell in them and walk in them.

And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.'" Thank you very much. So what is the temple? He says, 'you're the temple - the temple of the living God.' And in Peter as well, Peter speaks of the believers being living stones put together to build this edifice of the temple. Not a real temple, but together the church is to be a glorious edifice - the temple of God that, hopefully, he can fill with his Holy Spirit and manifest his presence there. So this great spiritual imposter, the man of sin - Paul is saying is to enthrone himself within the body of the Christian church and receive the worship that I said before should only be given to the great God of heaven who himself declared on sinai, when he gave the ten commandments, thou shalt have no other Gods before me. Well here is one that claims that authority in human flesh.

And this great antiChrist that Paul spoke of was not to arise some time in the distant future, he hadn't already been in the distant past. In Paul's day the antiChrist was already actually in the making in very embryonic form. And Paul's prediction of his coming was not a first by any means. Paul wasn't the first to say the antiChrist is coming - 'this man of sin who is going to sit in the temple of God showing himself that he is God, this great imposter.' Oh no, Paul wasn't the first in saying that - you go back 600 years from his time when we find that the prophet Daniel very clearly spoke about the imposter that was to come and plant himself in the church of Jesus Christ. Daniel mentioned this 600 years before.

So, again, I just want to tell you folks - those who are looking in - they'll see it - please call Amazing Facts - we'll give you the number again at the end of the program - and get this lesson because it goes into details I really don't have time to deal with today. I'm going to do my best, but it's just a short little booklet, but I kid you not, it is just right on so, remember, just a little plug for that. Get hold of 'who is the antiChrist?'. But this lesson, this same lesson here, takes us right into the Scripture. Takes us to Daniel chapter 7 and in Daniel chapter 7 we see delineated there nine very clear and concise identifying Marks as to who the antiChrist is and we don't have time today, but you might make a little note - Revelation chapter 13, verse 18 - that brings up the name - the number 666 - that is another identifying factor of the antiChrist which, I believe, you'll find in this book as well so send for the book.

I just wish we had two hours today but we don't do that - we don't have that. So again, let's go to Daniel chapter 7 and - first of all, one of the major identifying Marks here in Daniel 7 reveals the territory where the antiChrist would arise. And another identifying Mark in respect to the time period in which he would arise. So I'm going to read from Daniel 7, verses 23 and 24. Daniel 7, verses 23 and 24, "thus he said" - now in Daniel 7 you've got these four beasts that come out of the sea - you've got the lion, you've got the bear, you've got the winged leopard, and you've got this fourth terrible beast which was actually rome - it parallels with the symbolism of Daniel 2.

And, by the way, this interpretation of the symbolism here is not unique to seventh day adventists. Scholars of every denomination have looked at these beasts - the metals in Daniel 2, the beasts in Daniel 7 and - Babylon, medo-persia, greece and rome. And also what follows on from the fourth beast, the reformers. The 15th, 16th century, they had it nailed down as to who this antiChrist was and we'll name that antiChrist in a moment, but luther had it right, knox had it right, zwingli - you name it, they all had it - so this is not unique and it's not new to seventh day adventists. Okay, so verses 23 and 24 - speaking of the fourth kingdom - which is wrong.

"Thus he said, 'the fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down and break it in pieces.'" Now when rome went into decline what happened? Daniel 2 you've got ten toes, right? Daniel 7 we've got ten horns. You see the division of rome here. "And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten Kings that shall arise. Another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first and he shall subdue three Kings. What we're looking at here - the territory where the antiChrist would arise it would be in the territory that formerly comprised the western part of the roman empire - come up somewhere there.

And as for the timing, he would come up after the divisions of rome. After the ten horns - we'd have those ten tribes - you've seen pictures of this, haven't you? They were kind of what we call the progenitives of modern europe - england there - anglo-saxons - and the modern nations of europe came from that so we know the approximate territory. But he came, you know, it is after those ten divisions were established - so he comes a little further down the line, after the decline of rome somewhere in europe. And what it all amounts to is we connect the dots, the identifying Marks and we connect that - correlate that - with the testimonies of history - european history - the only conclusion we can draw as to who the antiChrist is - and I say it kindly but I have to say it because it's true - is the roman papacy. In other words, where the roman emperors left off ruling, the popes of rome took over.

In fact, the popes took upon themselves the title pontifex maximus, which is one of the titles for the roman emperors. Here's a statement here from - it's actually from the American catholic quarterly - so American catholic quarterly review, April - so this is a statement by the catholics themselves. "Long ago when rome, through the neglect of the western emperors was left to the mercy of the barbarous hoards, the Romans turned to one figure for aid and protection and asked him to rule over them. And thus commenced the temporal sovereignty of the popes." You notice it says temporal? The pope is not just a spiritual leader, he is also a monarchy as a head of state. Speaking of the - he was originally called the bishop of rome.

"Meekly stepping to the throne of caesar, the vicar of Christ" - which is a title of the pope - vicar means 'in the place of' - we'll get to the fact in a moment that the papacy - the pope claims to be God on earth in the flesh - "meekly stepping to the throne of caesar, the vicar of Christ took up the scepter to which the emperors and Kings of europe were to bow in reverence through so many ages." - They've been here for a long time, you see. And also, as well, a.c. Flick - 'rise of the medieval church' - his book, page 150, "out of the ruins of political rome arose the great moral empire in the giant form of the roman church." So the first statement speaks of the pope having a temporal sovereignty as a king and the second statement says there arose a great moral empire of the Romans - so here's the spiritual aspect. So you see both things there - both blended into one. So where the roman emperors left off, the roman popes took over in fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy - Daniel 7 and 8 and in fulfillment of Paul's prophecy where he says, 'sitting in the temple of God showing himself that he is God.

' Well, to some of you, what I'm going to read now is nothing new, but to some of you it may be quite - something you didn't know before so I'm going to take a moment to read a couple of statements here about, well, does the pope claim to be God? Well, according to this book - this is from ferraris' ecclesiastical dictionary, which is a roman catholic dictionary - article on the pope, which shows clearly that the authority and position that the pope takes is to claim to be God, which is blasphemy. And I quote, "the pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man but, as it were, God and the vicar of God." I didn't find time to get it this morning, but if you want to contact me care of Amazing Facts - just go to their website 'amazingfacts.org' - I will get you the reference for this following statement - I promise you. One of the popes actually said at one time, 'we hold upon this earth the place of God almighty.' So there's nothing - nothing there that is hidden. At least they're being honest about it. 'Sitting in the temple of God showing himself that he is God.

A man claiming the right to forgive sin - a prerogative belonging only to God. Well, does the pope and the roman priesthood claim the right to be able to forgive sins? Again, let me read here from another book here that says, - where am I looking? Point number 2 - it says, 'the pope is the vicar of Christ or the visible head of the church on earth. The claims of the pope are the same as the claims of Christ. Christ wanted all souls saved, so does the pope. Christ can forgive all sin.

So can the pope.' And we know that that authority is not just claimed by him but also as well by those who function in the priesthood. Again, 'sitting in the temple of God showing himself that he is God.' In what way? Well, claiming the right and the authority to change God's sacred Ten Commandments. Has the antiChrist claimed the authority to be able to do this? Well, yes, most definitely. In fact, I'll read you another little statement here, it says, 'the pope' - and this is also from ferraris' ecclesiastical dictionary, article on the pope. I quote, "the pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or interpret even divine laws.

" The power to modify means that you can change it or do away with it if you want. That was quite - that was a statement given a long time back, but here's a more recent statement, this is from the newsletter of saint catherine roman catholic church - algonac, Michigan, may 21, 1995 - I quote here, "perhaps the boldest thing - the most revolutionary change the church ever did happened in the" - they say the first century - actually it was roundabout the fourth - it says, "the holy day - the Sabbath - was changed from Saturday to Sunday. Not from any directions noted in the Scriptures but from the church's sense of its own power." So does the antiChrist claim the power to be able to abrogate - change God's law? Most definitely and in this instance to set aside the fourth commandment - the Sabbath, which is the seventh day - and to substitute it, they think - he thinks - for Sunday, which is of pagan origin. It's interesting that this quote finishes with this little statement here, which I appreciate this catholic person writing. It says, "people who think that the Scriptures should be the sole authority should logically become seventh day adventists and keep Saturday holy.

" So, well, you know, they're honest. Let's, you know, they're honest - credit where it's due - I'd rather somebody was honest like that then somebody who says, 'well, you know, I'm one of the saints, you know, a member of the remnant' and denying the sanctuary, denying 1844, denying the victory over sin. I'd rather have somebody who is honest like that. God can work with people who are still honest in heart. May we always stay that way.

But another way the antiChrist sits in the temple of God showing himself that he is God was also predicted in Daniel, but this time in Daniel chapter , verses 11 and 12. And I want to read verse 11 first and I want to know do we have a reader this morning? Okay, Michael's going to read it in a moment. Keep your hand up, mike. Mike is going to read this passage here - just verse 11 first of all, please. Thank you Michael.

Daniel chapter 8, verse 11, "he even exalted himself as high as the prince of the host and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away and the place of his sanctuary was cast down." Thank you. In Daniel 8, if you notice the preceding verses, you'll see that pagan rome under the caesars and papal rome under the popes - in Daniel 8 - it's all symbolized under one symbol of the little horn and you see the activity of both entities - pagan rome and papal rome. Let me explain what I mean. It says here 'magnified himself against the prince of the host and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. Pagan rome literally magnified itself against the prince of the host which is Christ - they actually crucified Jesus - physically put him to death.

Then in a.d. 70 Physically came with the army of Titus and just broke down Jerusalem and the temple. That's what pagan rome did. But in this same passage we see the activity of papal rome - 'magnified himself against the prince of the host...took away the place of his sanctuary...cast it down.' The papal - the papal antiChrist did this by interposing a human priesthood into the church that eclipsed the high priestly intercession of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. That's what - he magnified himself against the prince of the host and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.

What happened is a human priesthood was interposed - it eclipsed the - everybody's vision, everybody's focus was placed upon men. You had to go to mass. You had to go to the priest. It was all focused down here and the means whereby we are only and truly saved is by faith in Jesus Christ - is to direct our gaze by faith up to heaven - to the heavenly sanctuary - the sanctuary there, which exists - which nobody can break down but yet, in a spiritual sense, the antiChrist did by taking people's focus from it down here. Very powerful move here - very, very powerful move with tremendous effects for evil in the church.

Notice it says the day - I'm going to move on now to - no, it's still verse 11 - it says, "the daily sacrifice was taken away and the place of his sanctuary was cast down." The daily - the word sacrifice is being supplied there, which can be a little misleading. You see, Christ was crucified once upon the cross and in the heavenly sanctuary intercedes for us - he's not being sacrificed again and again and again. Hebrews tells us through that one sacrifice is sufficient to sanctify forever those who are perfected - or perfect forever those who are sanctified - just that one. But every day, every moment through the daily, which - the Hebrew word is the tamid - it means it's continuous, ongoing, never ceasing, intercession of Christ day and night, continually there interceding for his people. This is the means by which we are saved so he's - they're not offering sacrifices anymore but he's there pleading the merits of his sacrifice in our behalf.

And this is where we have to come every time - Hebrews :14-16, "seeing then that we have a great high priest that has passed into the heavens, Jesus The Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, ... Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." But the antiChrist usurps that, by the way, antiChrist means not just 'against' but 'in the place of'. And so, what we have here is a system within the antiChrist system which actually is a phony means of atonement - it eclipses - it robs Christ of his authority and his ability to make an atonement. Let's read verse 12 of Daniel chapter 8, "and an host was given against the day" - here it is again - "by reason of transgression and it cast down the truth to the ground and it practiced and prospered.

" The catholic church practiced and prospered especially during the dark ages where the Kings of europe truly felt that the pope or the priests had the right through the host to be able to offer salvation or close the gates of paradise depending on whether the priest would offer you the mass or not - offer you the host or not. Very powerful leverage. And I'm going to read this - this is also from a catholic work - speaking of the mass it says, 'thus the priest may, in a certain manner be called' - see through the mass Jesus is crucified - sacrificed again and again and again, which is just not biblical - 'thus the priest may, in a certain manner be called the creator of his creator since by saying the words of consecration he creates, as it were, Jesus in the sacrament. By giving him a sacramental existence and produces him as a victim to be offered to the eternal father.' So, in the mass, the priest claims the right to be able to call Christ down from heaven, manifest himself in that piece of wafer, and the priest claims in offering the wafer and the wine, to be able to offer Christ again upon the altar. And when the people come and they take those emblems, they truly believe that the priest has sacrificed Christ and, as they open their mouths, they are now receiving the very flesh and the very blood of Jesus Christ.

That's blasphemy, friends. That's absolute blasphemy. Just a little more here, 'when he ascended into heaven' - to become our mediator and our intercessor, right? - 'When he ascended into heaven Jesus Christ left his priests after him to hold on earth his place of mediator between God and man, particularly at the altar.' Leaves you a bit dumbstruck at times, doesn't it? Now, I want to make something clear here, by the way, as we read about the papacy, it's depicted as a horn and as we look at symbolic prophecy, a horn is symbolic of a nation or a power, not an individual, okay? So we're not - I'm not pointing at pope benedict this morning and saying that he's the antiChrist, he's merely the head of the organization of the papacy - it's that that we're talking about because, as you know there are some very fine people in the catholic church. In fact, I'm pleased to tell you - and I'm going to read it this morning - that the lesson expresses here words of care and concern - and I'm going to read it because there's people looking in today at this presentation who have probably never heard these things before. So I want you folks to listen, "lest some should think that we are attacking fellow Christians by identifying this little horn power, please keep in mind that the prophecy is aimed at a system and not individuals.

There are sincere, devout Christians in all churches, including the catholic faith. Daniel 7 is simply a message of judgment and correction upon a large religious institution which compromised with paganism" - and I like this - "like so many other churches that arose after her." Okay? And this, which I think is very good - "other prophecies in the Scriptures point out the faults of protestant and Jewish faiths." We can find things in this Bible that point out faults relating to the seventh day adventist church, can we not? We can. We're laodicean among other things. Let me read that again, "other prophecies point out the faults of protestant and Jewish faiths. God has true people in all religions.

His true people, no matter what their faith, will always humbly accept the correction of the Lord and will not shut their ears and hearts against him by self-defensiveness." - That should go for us as well. - "We should be very thankful that God's Word speaks with impartial honesty on every subject." So we're not here this morning to stomp catholics on the foot - I told you before my dad was a catholic. When I was selling books when I was a ministerial student one summer with my friend jerry, the nicest lady we met was a catholic lady. It's hard selling books in england, I mean, doors are made for slamming and they certainly slam them in your face in england, but the nicest lady we met - she let us into her apartment - she had a little, you know, a little shrine there, if you like and she was a sweet - as sweet a person as you could find. I've never forgotten her.

I met a lot of sour brits during that summer, but this lady, she was just sweet - she sticks in my mind just clear as anything. She may not have had all the light - I believe we sold her a 'Great Controversy' - I hope she's read it by now because this was over 30 years ago. She may not have had all the light, but Paul speaks in Romans about the gentiles who didn't have the law - he says, 'they show that the law is written upon their hearts. But it's God's purpose that everybody - people who don't believe, catholics, protestants - that we should all know the difference between truth and error so we can all be delivered from satan's powerful deceptions and be found fully on God's side when Jesus comes back. Is that fair enough? Now, there's a time period in the Bible - 1,260 years and it's mentioned seven times between the books of Daniel and Revelation - and they were all allotted for the man of sin, during which time he would sit in the temple of God showing himself that he is God - but this long period of existence was to come to an end - and you should be familiar with the ,260 years - it came to an end in 1798 when the pope was taken prisoner by the french army.

And again, those of you who are watching, send for this book - all this particular information is in here - just a really good little document - you need to get it. However, the book of Revelation - we're going to the book of Revelation now - in the book of Revelation in chapter 13, the papacy is symbolized as a beast. In Daniel chapter 7 and 8 the papacy is symbolized as a horn. In Revelation chapter 13 the papacy is symbolized as a beast - and in Daniel 7, verse 17 - you see there - there's a key to prophecy - it says 'beasts are Kings or nations' - so again, we have this power but it's symbolized as a beast. Now Revelation 13, verse 3 and I think I'll read this myself if you don't mind.

Okay, he receives - in 1798 the pope is taken prisoner and this is symbolized or spoken of - pictured in Revelation chapter - as in receiving a deadly wound. Revelation 13:3 - but this wound is to be healed - notice - "and I saw one of its heads as it were wounded to death and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world wondered after the beast." When the pope was taken away in people said, 'that's it. The catholic church is gone. It's finished.

It won't be back again.' Well, it wasn't too long after that napoleon saw that is was politically expedient to at least appoint another pope, even though it was just a puppet - lost a lot of his power - and later on garabaldi came along in italy and they confiscated what reMained of papal lands until, finally, the pope was just a small-time individual just locked away in the vatican - couldn't really do much, didn't amount to much. But in 1929 this wound here - it was predicted it would be healed - there was a treaty - the lateran treaty - it was signed between mussolini - the italian dictator - and the pope - the pope at that time. Pope - I've forgotten his name right now. But what this did - it restored the papacy to standing again in italy, which resulted in it receiving standing and recognition then in other countries as well and began again the healing of the deadly wound and would cause the papacy to rise again in prominence in world affairs. And that's ultimately where we see the catholic church today.

Who can deny it? Pope John Paul ii - it was said of him that more people had seen him than any other living human being. Queen elizabeth, where I come from, has been around as a queen since 1952. She's traveled the world I don't know how many times. Millions of people have seen her, but in his few years John Paul ii - more people saw him than ever did queen elizabeth in her 50-plus years - 60 years now, actually or something like that. So when the pope came again - when benedict came to the united states - what was it? Five or six years ago? He had an audience with president george w.

Bush - or probably more correct to say george w. Bush had an audience with the pope. President bush was asked, 'what did you see when you looked in the pope's eyes?' And his answer was, 'I saw God.' That's what he said, 'I saw God.' Now you can be sure that the pope had no problem - no problem accepting that answer. He still has no problem being equated with God. He still has no problem receiving praise and worship that should be ascribed only to God.

And many are doing that. They've done it in the past and they're doing it now and you see where he goes there's hoards and hoards of people. But the grand finale when the deadly wound is finally and fully healed is yet to come, but it's very, very soon, my friends. And this is where we go to Revelation 13:8 - and this is what's going to happen when the deadly wound is fully healed. Revelation 13, verse 8 - we read, "and all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him.

" Shall what? Worship him. How many on the earth? "All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him" - you might say, 'aw, come on.' I didn't write the book, okay? But the book's been around long enough and it's shown that it's trustworthy so don't listen to me, don't look - read the book. Trust that. "All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him whose names" - there's an exception here - "whose names have not been written in the book of life of the lamb slain from the foundation of the world." The antiChrist is going to seek this and he's going to receive it and he's going to hold onto it regardless of what it costs - even if it comes to a bitter end, which it will. But so determined is the antiChrist to hold onto his power he will seek to enforce his own human traditions rather than the commandments of God including enforcement of Sunday worship at a time in the very near future when the third angel's message - and we've heard of the third angel's message, haven't we? When that is swelling to a loud cry calling people back to worship him that made heaven and earth and the sea and the fountains of waters.

As the third angel's message is calling people back to recognize God as the creator - and we do that by observing the fourth commandment - the seventh-day Sabbath - still the antiChrist is going to push to have the world worship him. And the way that they'll acknowledge him and count him worthy of worship is if they accept his day. So the whole thing is going to come down to the issue of days. And you will show which God you serve, the true God of heaven or the antiChrist - the imposter - based upon what day you worship your particular God on. It's going to be as simple as that and God has determined that it should come down to an issue perhaps so simple and yet what more - what should I say? - Thing you could use to draw a clear line in the sand? You know, you're either keeping Sabbath or you're going to keep Sunday and it's going to be very, very, very apparent.

The seal of God or the Mark of the beast. And in Revelation 13:11-15 there is brought to light - and I need to move on faster - there is brought to light another power that is going to stride boldly onto center stage to champion the cause of the antiChrist. Revelation 13:11-14, we read as follows: "and I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and he spake as a dragon. And he exercised all the power of the first beast before him, and causes the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.

And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast, saying to them that dwell on the earth that they should make an image to the beast which had the wound by the sword and did live." Who's this? Well, it's the United States of America. 'Show me then, pastor mike.' Well, I don't have time. Now why would the United States - why would this country cause a - champion such a cause? Because friends, the united states of America is already in a crisis. There's another election coming up and people are thinking, 'oh, this is going to pull us back.' Well, I mean, I hope it does, but we've got a struggle ahead of us. But nonetheless, as we look at prophecy there's going to be reasons why people in this country are going to champion this cause - the cause of the antiChrist - because the antiChrist is one of the powerful people right now standing up for religious liberty in this country.

I know it sounds ironic but the papacy is an inspiration to evangelical Christians. Remember recently there was a push from the government that contraceptives - those kind of things should be supplied to workers and the catholic church said, 'hey, you know, we have hospitals, we have clinics, we have all these kinds of things - we cannot supply these things to people - contraceptives - it's against our religious beliefs. And so they stood up. Give them credit where it's due - they stood up and said, 'we're having none of this.' They are an inspiration to evangelical Christians to stand themselves against things in government. I'm not talking about democrats or republicans, I'm just talking about the fact that these elements get in sometimes.

They're standing against it. They're an inspiration. And so the United States is going to perceive it as virtuous and beneficial to promote the papal cause because the united states is going to see itself in troublous times - going down the tubes - and they're going to say, 'we need to get back to God.' And the person who's going to give them inspiration to stand for the right is going to be the papacy. You can see it clear as the nose on your face. Well, we're glad you could join us this week, friends.

We hope you can join us next week as well as we continue - we've got the last lesson in 1 and 2 Thessalonians - and you'll enjoy that, I'm sure. But remember to contact amazing facts - the offer is #125 'who is the antiChrist?' - You can get this if you call -866-study-more, -866-788-3966. All right, God bless you. Keep studying this book and we'll see you next week. God bless.

Thank you. Amazing Facts changed lives. I grew up in a family that was very saturated with God. We had morning worship, we had evening worship, we were taught from young children to have personal devotions each day. But for whatever reason, I seemed to always find myself alone.

I never really had a big group of friends and it always seemed to be like friends were just taken away from me. I would pray for friends and I would meet someone and six months later then they moved to Washington, you know, across the United States. And so finally it was just like I'm not - I'm not going to pray for any more friends because it hurts too much to lose them. But over the next two years, as I got closer to God, I started to be able to be thankful for the alone times because I was forced, in that aloneness, to seek God. That is probably what has made me who I am and given me the experience with God that I have now.

The place where I feel most comfortable is being alone with God. I know a lot of people have questions about 'where is God when it hurts?' 'If God is such a loving God why is the world so bad?' Embrace the pain. Embrace the hard times and let God reveal himself through that because he has answers to questions you don't even know how to ask. Together we have spread the Gospel much farther than ever before. Thank you for your support.

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