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Back To The Future – Sermon #31

Revelation 13:1-10

THE BEAST FROM OUT OF THE SEA

Intro: In our last study we met the Antichrist. We tried to consider what the Bible says about this coming world ruler who is called the "Man of Sin"; the "Son of Perdition". The Antichrist gives us an opportunity to see how Satan operates. The devil is an imitator. He takes what God does and he tries to duplicate it.

You see, Jesus, the real Christ, is a revelation of God the Father. In John 1, there are three verses that are worthy of note, John 1:1, 14, 18. These verses teach us the truth that Jesus is a living, breathing revelation of God the Father. The verse 18, the word "declared' translates the Greek word that gives us our English word "exegesis". The word means "to narrate, to explain, to lead out, to draw out'. It speaks of "an explanation, or a narration".

In preaching, we use exegesis to "lead out and explain" the truths contained in the text. When Jesus came, He came to "explain, to lead out, to narrate" God. In other words, Jesus Christ was and is God in the flesh. He was able to say, "I and my Father are one," John 10:30. He was also able to say, "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father," John 14:9. Jesus is God incarnate; He is God in the flesh!

In the Antichrist, Satan attempts to duplicate this relationship between Jesus Christ and God the Father. The Antichrist will be a living, breathing revelation of the devil. He will be the devil incarnate; he will be the devil in the flesh.

We know that our God is a triune Being. He is one God Who manifests Himself in the Persons. He is Father, Son and Holy Ghost. All three are One God, yet each is an individual Person. They come together to make up the Holy Trinity.

In Revelation 12-13, we are introduced to the Satanic Trinity. Satan imitates God the Father. The Antichrist imitates God the Son. The False Prophet, who we will meet in our next study, imitates God the Holy Spirit.

Let's give our attention once again to this man who will be known as the Antichrist. These verses give us some important details concerning his mission, his methods and his miracles. Let's consider these first ten verses of Revelation 13 and talk about The Beast From Out Of The Sea.

 

I. v. 1-2 THE APPEARANCE OF THE BEAST

A. v. 1 a How He Originates As John stands on a sea shore, a mysterious "beast' rises from out of the sea. This is symbolic language. The "sea" in the Bible represents the masses of humanity. This individual will come from among men. In other words, while he may possess power that surpasses all the other great rulers of me, he will be nothing more than a man!

The Antichrist will be empowered by Satan and he will wield tremendous power and authority. But, unlike Jesus Christ, he will have a human mother and father. He will not be a God-man like Jesus. He will be a man who receives his kingdom and his power from Satan himself.

Where will he come from and what will be his nationality? No one knows! One fellow has suggested that George W. Bush is the Antichrist. He has assigned a numerical value to each of the letters in President Bush's name and he claims they equal 666. According to the Bible, and we will see this in a minute, he will lead a ten nation confederacy that resembles the revived Roman Empire. Therefore, he may be European by birth. Of course, Daniel 11:37 tells us that he "will not regard the God of his fathers." This verse leads many to speculate that he will be Jewish by birth. The fact is, no one knows and anyone who claims to is way off base.

B. v. 1 b-2a How He Operates These verses give us a little insight into this man called Antichrist. The symbolic language tells us something about what kind of man he is and also something about the nature of the kingdom he will rule.

1. Seven Heads The explanation for this is given in Rev. 17:9, "The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth." Revelation 17 is a passage about "The Great Harlot', or the apostate church that will dominate world religion during the Tribulation Period. We are told that the "Harlot' sits on "seven hills". There is only one city in the world that is built on seven hills: the city of Rome.

2. Ten Horns Horns are a symbol of power and authority. Again, these horns are explained by Rev. 17:12. We are told that the ten horns are "ten kings".

3. Ten Crowns These ten kings have great authority and power. The Antichrist will arise from among this confederation of ten powerful kings.

4. The Names Of Blaspheme These world leaders will stand in open defiance of all that is holy or that has to do with God.

 

(Note: Many believe that what we are seeing here is a revival of the ancient Roman Empire. The Roman Empire was never really defeated. It just kind of dissolved into separate kingdoms. There have been many attempts to revive it down through the centuries. Charlemagne, Napoleon, and Hitler tried, but they all failed. Apparently, the Roman Empire will be revived again, and the Antichrist will dominate this confederation of nations.

We are already seeing this process come to pass in the European Union. This union is comprised of twenty-five European nations with five more who are candidates for admission. The land area occupied by these nations covers much of the land area occupied by the old Roman Empire. I think we will see this body produce the Antichrist and provide the ten kings who will rule the world at the beginning of the Tribulation Period.)

 

(Note: To understand the description given of this beast in these verses, you have to go back to Daniel 7:3-8. In Daniel's vision, he describes the great world empires that will follow one after another until the end of the world.

Daniel speaks of a "lion", verse 4. This beast pictures the Babylonian Empire. Like a lion, ancient Babylon was powerful, fearsome and had a ravenous appetite for domination. The "bear' in verse 5 speaks of the Medo-Persian Empire. Like a bear it possessed incredible power to crush its enemies. The "leopard' in verse 6 speaks of the Greek Empire. It is called a leopard because the Greeks were quick to dominate the world. The fourth beast in verse 7 is the Roman Empire. With teeth of iron they dominated the ancient world.

The Bible is teaching us that the Antichrist will possess the power and the personality of all these ancient empires. He will combine all their strengths and possess none of their weaknesses.

4. Body Like A Leopard His rise to power will be swift.

5. Feet Like A Bear He will crush his opponents.

6. Mouth Like A Lion Like a lion he will devour all who dare stand in his way.

7. Called A Beast The word "beast' refers to "a wild animal'. It is used as a metaphor of a man who is "brutal, savage, and ferocious". Like a wild animal, Antichrist will attack the kingdoms of the world and he will destroy all who get in his path. He will be a fearsome, powerful man.

C. v. 2b How He Officiates We are told that the Antichrist rules the world, but not by his own power. He is Satan's Superman. He is energized by the Dark Prince. We are told that Satan gives him three things. 1. His Power This word refers to "strength, power and ability. 2. His Seat – This is his "throne". He rules because Satan has given him dominion. 3. Great Authority – This word refers to the "ability to do as one pleases". The Antichrist will do as he pleases on this earth for a time and no one will be able to stop him.

The Antichrist will accept the offer Jesus refused in Matthew 4. When Jesus was on the Mount of Temptation Satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would bow down and worship the devil, Matt. 4:8-9. Jesus refused Satan's ridiculous offer. It appears, however, that Antichrist will accept and Antichrist will rule the world. Satan will control this future world ruler.

 

(Note: There is an interesting parallel that I want to point out today. The human heart was made to be occupied. When you are lost, the heart is occupied and controlled by Satan, Eph. 2:1-3. When a person is saved, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your heart and assumes control of your life. If you have never received Jesus as your Savior, then Satan is your lord and your master, John 8:44.)

 

I. The Appearance Of The Beast

 

II. v. 3-4 THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE BEAST

A. v. 3 He Receives The World's Wonder At some point during the Antichrist's reign he will die. It may be an assassination or some other form of upheaval, but he will be killed. As the world watches and mourns the death of this very popular man, a miraculous thing happens; this dead man comes back from the dead. He experiences a resurrection.

Remember, I told you that Satan is an imitator. In this verse we are told that Satan seeks to duplicate the resurrection. God's Son died on the cross and rose from the dead and the world, for the most part, ignores Him. This man will die and rise again and the world will wonder after him. He has the world right where he wants it; eating out of the palm of his hand.

B. v. 4 He Receives The World's Worship Whether this resurrection is real or just a bit of satanic slight of hand we do not know. Yet, the citizens of the world will be taken in. they will be so caught up in the power, the glory and wonder of the Antichrist that they will actually give him their worship! The world will bow before this hellish king and give him what they have steadfastly refused to give God.

Just as God receives the worship of man through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ; Satan will receive the worship of men through the Antichrist. He will be getting what he has always wanted. Men will worship the Beast and the devil. What a tragedy! While Heaven rejoices over the fact that Satan has been cast out of Heaven, Rev. 12:10, the "earth dwellers" give their worship to the devil.

 

(Note: The world will declare the Antichrist to be undefeatable. What they fail to understand is that there will come a day when Antichrist will be defeated and cast into Hell, Rev. 19:20; 20:10. Yes, Jesus Christ will be able to defeat the devil's superman with no problem. But, may I also point out the truth that God's people living during the Tribulation can defeat him as well, Rev. 12:11. Satan has power and the Antichrist will have power. But, they will face on Who has all, power, Matt. 28:18. He will defeat them, destroy them and judge them!)

 

I. The Appearance Of The Beast

II. The Achievements Of The Beast

 

III. v. 5-8 THE ACTIVITIES OF THE BEAST

(III. The Antichrist will use his newfound power over men to further Satan's agenda. These verses tell us what kind of man the Antichrist will be.

A. v. 5-6 He Defies God The Antichrist will be a man of great oratorical ability. He will be able to move the masses with the power of his tongue. If you have ever seen films of Adolph Hitler, you have seen a man who understood the power of the tongue. By his words, he stirred up a nation and convinced them that they could rule the world. He convinced the German people that they were superior to all others. Hitler's words brought about unbelievable suffering and innumerable deaths. Hitler once said, "You say something long enough and loud enough and people will eventually believe you."

When the Antichrist comes, his power with words will make Hitler seem like a babbling idiot! He will galvanize the nations of the world with the power of his words. He will speak "great things" and they will believe him. He will speak blasphemes against the God of Heaven and they will worship him. He will use his words to attack everything that has to do with God and the world will hang on every word. He will do everything in his power to turn humanity against God. He will even declare himself to be God!

B. v. 7a He Destroys The Saints Antichrist will make it his mission to seek out and destroy anyone who still worships God. There will be people saved during the Tribulation. These people will become the focus of the Antichrist's intense hatred of God. He will not be able to defeat the 144,000 Jewish preachers as they travel the world preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. He will not be able to defeat the two witnesses who stand in Jerusalem and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. He will not be able to stop them until their time is finished, and then he will be allowed to kill them too. But, anyone else on this earth who refuses to bow to him in worship will be put to a martyr's death!

C. v. 7b He Dominates The Nations The Antichrist will rule the world! Every nation will come under his power and domination. He will be the ultimate world ruler. He will be the king of the world!

D. v. 8 He Deceives The Masses This verse is crystal clear! Every person who is not saved by god's grace will eventually bow in worship if Satan and his superman.

Notice that these worshipers are called "all that dwell upon the earth". The word "dwell" means "to settle down". This phrase refers to people who have chosen to make this world their home. They have decided that they aren't interested in Heaven or in anything God can offer them. They have staked all their hopes and their futures in this world. God abandons them to their choice! They want the world and He lets them have it, with all the consequences that come with such a decision.

These "earth dwellers" have refused God and His Messiah and they have chosen Satan and his false messiah. Does gives them up and let's them go after the world and the god they have chosen, 2 Thes. 2:11-12.

 

(Note: Which world have you chosen? The Lord will allow you to have the Christ you want. You can have the Lord Jesus Christ if you will receive Him. If not, you may live in this world long enough to worship the Antichrist.)

 

Conc: The final two verses of our text have a special message for us today. Verse 9 says, "If any man have an ear, let him hear' . Do you recognize that statement? We have seen a statement like it several times before, Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22. If you go and read these verses you will find that they say, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches". Do you see what is missing? Two things are missing here, the "Spirit" and the "churches". Both the Spirit and the church were removed from the world at the Rapture. The age of grace has ended and the world is in the grip of the Great Tribulation. When God speaks here, He does not warn His people, He warns the earth dwellers, but it is too late for them to repent. They are locked in to their choice and they will worship the Beast and hey will die and go to Hell.

Verse 10 drives this point home. The whole point of verse 10 is that people reap what they sow, Gal. 6:7. If you live for the devil, you will reap the devil. If you reject Jesus, you will be rejected by Jesus. The time to make a choice is today! There will come a day when it will be too late.

When will that day be? No one knows but the Lord! It could be today, tonight or tomorrow. There will come a day when God will stop calling you and He will abandon you to your choice. If you are not saved, you need to come to Jesus today.

If you are saved, verse 10 had a word of hope. The "patience and faith of the saints" is the knowledge that in the end, Satan and Antichrist will be defeated. In that day, God and righteousness will reign.

The main thing today is for each person in this room to be sure which world they are hooked into. Are you an "earth dweller''? Are all your hopes and dreams locked up in this world? Or, are you a citizen of Heaven? Have you received Jesus as your Savior? If so, you will not face the Antichrist or the horrors of the Tribulation.

Do you know where you are going? Would you like to be saved? If He has spoken to your heart, you mind Him today!

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