God’s love: infinite, abundant,unreserved,unconditional.
God so loves the world, that there is not one person, living or dead, that Jesus did not die for. The apostle Paul says that if God was so willing to give His Son, He along with His Son willingly offers everything else also (Romans 8:32). This without any doubt includes all the advice, counsel, and directions in order that we may find our way to Him (Jeremiah 6:16; Matt.7:14; Hebrews 1:1-3;12:1,2; 1 Peter 2:2:21-25) along with all the warnings of the pitfalls, dangers, and wrong paths that may lead us astray.God has clearly described the full gospel, demonstrated His love, proclaimed His grace and mercy, and He has defined sin, exposed heresy, exposed our enemies, and repeatedly warned us of Satan’s many varied and subtle deceptions that would lead us into a false hope (John 10:10; Isaiah 45:19; Amos 3:7; Isaiah 8:19,20). When time comes that we must face our Maker, we will have no excuse.
As we look to the future, prophecy informs us that we are nearing a time of great crisis of such magnitude that not since Noah has there been a time of such import and significance. And in fact in Revelation 14:9-11 is the most dire warning in all scripture, and that time is immediately before us. So I ask. Is this warning given in love? Yes. If such a dire warning is given, do you think God would also offer a sure identification of the Antichrist that we may not be deceived? Again, the answer is yes. And would not that same love also reveal not just who the beast is, but how we may avoid its mark? Remember, “He that spared not His own Son, but offered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
Let us get real here.
Why is it that many in the church then move away from that revelation regarding the Antichrist, and attach to him their own theories and opinions when no such things are necessary? God has not enshrouded His warnings in a mystery that cannot be understood. The church has become full of prognosticators and clairvoyants, finding simple Biblical exegesis insufficient so people devise imaginative future enemies about to persecute the church, attack Israel, decimate all that they believe is good and sound, all the while ignoring and setting aside God’s word that warns them that the enemy is not without the church, but within. In attempting to tell everyone that the enemy is still future and is coming from the horizon afar off, they do the devil’s own work and deceive people into ignoring the real enemy who is standing beside them whose doctrines and dogmas they have all been partaking of. In this they are ignoring the very word of God that says “Come out of her my people”. God says come out, they say he hasn’t arrived yet. And not only so, but because they believe the coming enemy is an individual, how can they come out anyway from an individual? God’s warning makes no sense to such a one. They fail to perceive that the Antichrist is not an individual, but a succession of individuals who preside over the one system. It is that system that is so very well described in scripture, and it is that system that God calls His people to leave. It is the system that God warns of, it is the system that is the enemy, and it is that system that so many are even now fully card-carrying-life members of but are totally unaware and oblivious of the danger!
In Revelation 13, that wonderful chapter that focuses so intently on the ‘Beast’ and its character and work, mentions ‘worship’ five times, and in the following chapter, 3 times. Satan lusts for and craves worship. Isaiah quotes Lucifer in
Isaiah 14:13,14. “I will ascend into heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.”!! Satan, aka Lucifer, has an “I” problem.
If Satan however strolled into the local church, of whatever denomination, introduced himself and said “worship me”, is the congregation going to do that? Hardly. Does Satan know such a tactic would fail? Of course. So in order for him to receive the worship he so desperately craves, he has to make people believe they are worshiping the true God, when in actuality they are worshiping the false. Thus Satan has to use deception. He must introduce a system of worship that is so close to the original that it is almost impossible to tell them apart. He must introduce a counterfeit. He cannot do this by force, as people will be on to it immediately. In order to destroy the church, Satan tried with persecution through pagan Rome, but failing to lessen the growth of the church, he had to use more subtle methods. Introducing false doctrine he slowly but surely began to chip away at the foundations of truth until the people were believing a lie. Then they would be ready for the last great deception, and be led into false worship. God, Who sees the end from the beginning, warns us of this great counterfeit.
God has shown us who is Antichrist.
Paul wrote in
2 Thess. 2:3,4. “Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day (the second advent) shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped: so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
Here we see Antichrist promoting himself to a place of worship. What is the temple of God in the Christian era? It is the church. (1 Cor.3:16,17; 6:19; 2 Cor.6:16; Eph. 2:19-22). Therefore Antichrist is placing himself in a position of authority and as an object of worship within the church. He is not on the outside attacking the church, he is on the inside deceiving it. Paul repeats his former warning in
Acts 20:29,30. “I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”
Paul also says in
2Thess. 2:7 “the mystery of iniquity doth already work.” Thus the great apostasy he warned of had already begun in the days of the apostles, and this apostasy was to result in slowly and cunningly eroding away many important Bible truths from men’s minds that would last for centuries.
The Antichrist who was to bring on the crisis of the mark of the beast at the end of time began forming and growing into power in those early days. John confirmed this saying in
John 4:3 “that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now is it in the world.”
So Satan was raising up his counterfeit a long time ago,for it was through this counterfeit system of worship that Satan himself would be worshiped. Notice in…
Revelation 13:1 1 ¶ And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”
Who is this dragon? Revelation 12:9 tells us
” And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
Thus it is Satan who gives the beast its power, its seat (or throne) and authority. Bu this is not all. In reading Revelation 13:1,2 we are taken back to the 4th beast of Daniel, pagan Rome. The parallels between pagan Rome and the dragon, both in symbol and practice, is not a coincidence. And documented history reveals that it was pagan Rome, more specifically Emperor Justinian, that gave official approval to the popes in the 6th century to assume civil power in Rome. It was from this time that the Roman church began its venture as a church/state union, the typical and common characteristic of all pagan religions. And continuing in
Revelation 13:3 “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered (or marvel in admiration) after the beast.
4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?”
So there it is. By worshiping Antichrist, they by proxy are worshiping Satan. Antichrist is Satan’s frontman, his alter-ego, his counterfeit. Through the worship of Antichrist Satan fulfils his lifelong dream to receive the worship of man. But there is more. He enlists help, and we read about this a little later in the same chapter…
11 ¶ 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.
12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14 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 a sword, and did live.
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
Notice that it is the people, (the ‘they in verse 14) who under recommendation from the state power, create this image, another church/state union, and it is the second beast, or nation, that gives the church/state union its power. And notice that this nation with the horns like a lamb speaks as a dragon…speaks like the devil…like the pagan emperor who granted the Roman church power in the 6th century, so also does this second nation give power and authority to this newly developed church/state union.
The Majority will Worship their Enemy.
Deception,worship,deception,worship. These are the issues of the last days. Remember, this is God’s loving ‘revelation’ concerning true and false worship. It is the love of God which prompted Jesus to warn constantly of the core theme of the times leading up to His second advent.
Matt. 24:4 ¶ And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many….11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many….23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
Deception is surely a major factor contributing to the confusion and apostasy of Babylon. Are not the abominations in the cup which she holds her deceptions and false doctrines? But of what purpose are these deceptions if they do not relate directly to how we relate to our Creator? Are they not designed to draw us away from a right relationship with God? Yes, assuredly. But more than that, and I cannot stress this enough, Satan seeks to draw us away from the Creator toward himself. Through deception, he has the whole world worshiping the Antichrist, and the whole world believes they are worshiping God. The counterfeit system of worship is so beguiling, so attractive, and presents itself in such a loving, caring, compassionate, Christian way, that the entire world is deceived into accepting her, obeying her dogmas, following her counsel, keeping her man-made commandments.
The Truth Liberates.
So back to our original question. Does God want us to be so deluded that we would submit ourselves to a system of worship directed through Antichrist to Satan? Of course not. That is why Jesus warned us repeatedly of false prophets, false Christs. That is why the inspired scriptures go into such great and minute detail in the books of Daniel and Revelation concerning Antichrist and his work. And it is from these details that we can gather sufficient information to come to an honest and correct conclusion as to the exact identity of the Antichrist. To the precise identity of this false worship system that even now has much of the world in its grasp. The apostle Paul said that if we have a love for truth, we would not be deceived (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12) , and Paul is referring directly to the Antichrist when he penned these words. Jesus said in John 17:17 that we are sanctified by the word of truth, and in John 8:32 that if we continue in His word the truth of His word will set us free. Free from sin, free from error, free from false doctrine, free from deception.
According to most modern evangelists, Antichrist is yet to come. The scriptures however are very clear. Antichrist is here now, and hard at work drawing the world after him as you read these words. And true to form, and in fulfillment of prophecy, much of the Christian world is either in denial, deluded, or at best confused, as to the true nature of the beast which is before them. They see it, they even wonder after it marveling at her power and splendor, many praise it, countless millions obey her commands in direct contradistinction to the commandments of God, but very few perceive the true nature of it.
God’s exceedingly great and infinite love for you demands you understand this truth. In His word He has provided all the information needed to ensure that no-one need be deceived or lack understanding in matters relating to such an essential matter as worship. Worship is what is due our Creator. It is who we worship that defines our loyalties. And it is how we worship that defines who we worship. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father is Spirit and in Truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.” John 4:22-24.
The last great delusion is set to present itself to the world, and even now is busily doing so. Antichrist is to perform his marvelous works in the sight of man. So closely will this system resemble the true, that it will be almost impossible to discern between truth and error except for the scriptures. No-one who hasn’t trained themselves to search for and grasp the truths of the Bible will remain faithful to the true God when the coming crisis deepens. When demands come that they obey certain commandments, because they have failed to study and accept scripture, they will not discern that these commandments of men demand submission to counterfeit truth, and usurp the commandments of God. The fearful judgements that are proclaimed against those who worship the beast, the image, and receive the mark, as revealed in Revelation 14, should drive all men to an earnest study of the scriptures and the prophecies to learn what the mark is, who the beast is, and how they are to avoid them.
The Bible, and the Bible only, must be the standard for all doctrine and belief.
As a wise woman once said…The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science,the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority …not one or all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain ‘thus saith the Lord’ in its support….with the many warnings against false teachers, why are the people so ready to commit the keeping of their souls to the clergy? There are today thousands of professors of religion who can give no other reason for the points of faith which they hold than that they were so instructed by their religious leaders…a lack of moral courage to step aside from the beaten track of the world, leads many to follow in the steps of learned men, and by their reluctance to investigate for themselves, they are becoming hopelessly fastened in the chains of error…the truth and the glory of God are inseparable; it is impossible for us, with the Bible within our reach, to honor God by erroneous opinions. It is the first and highest duty of every rational being to learn from the scriptures what is truth, and then to walk in the light, and encourage others to follow His example. Ignorance of God’s word is sin, when every provision has been made that we may become wise. We should day by day study the Bible diligently, weighing every thought, and comparing scripture with scripture. With divine help, we are to form our opinions for ourselves, as we are to answer for ourselves before God.
Compare Daniel 7 and Revelation 13. Take note of all the parallels. There is no other power other than the RCC which meets all the criteria of being the Antichrist of scripture. Nor is there any other nation than the US who being democratic, has the power and worldly influence and authority to convince her people, and then the world, to create a Protestant church/state union as a direct image of the papacy, demanding obedience to papal dogmas, papal creeds, and specifically with regard to the laws or commandments of God, Torah, submission to the papal counterfeit of Sabbath, Sunday. Sunday, the RCC officially claims, is the “mark of her authority” in religious matters. Remember, in Revelation 14 there are only two groups of people in the last days. The sheep and the goats are divided on the basis of obedience to God’s laws. Those who accept the mark of the beast, are set in direct contrast to “those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus.” Revel. 14:12.
Study current events. Line them up with prophecy. And pray. Pray earnestly and diligently for confirmation and help from the Holy Spirit. God promises that the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth. God wants you to know the truth. No more trusting in fictional novels and so-called ‘Christian’ movies. No more trusting in the clergy and the television evangelists who assume so much and present so little.
” To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20
And finally my friends, remember. If you do require help from a pastor or teacher or even me, always, and I repeat always, apply the above verse.