This devotional is one day of a 365 days devotional book entitled Living Hope for the End of Days that explores Revelation, the final book of God's Word; and is available at www.dtbm.org To read the rest of the devotional click here…
The Person of the Antichrist
And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring who… have the testimony of Jesus Christ. …. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.
—Revelation 12:17-13:2, emphasis added
As we examine the person of the Antichrist, drawn in the words of the apostle John, and see him whose cause is not only to be “anti” (opposed), but also “anti-” (the exact inverse of) Christ Jesus the Lord of glory, there are five horrible lies that this beast (the Antichrist) will foist upon the earth as he carries out his counterfeit operation of imitating Christ.
Lie One: The beast will offer a false authority. In Revelation 12:17–13:2 “the beast” is imitating the Kingdom of God, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Creator. Satan’s counterfeit authority is rebellion against God, which actually started in the Garden of Eden when Eve questioned the goodness, authority, and right of God to limit. You can escape his false authority by keeping yourself under the authority of God.
Lie Tw The beast will offer a false resurrection. In Revelation 13:3-5, the beast causes the whole world to marvel at his counterfeit resurrection as he imitates the prince of life, the firstborn from the dead, the empty tomb, the way, the truth, and the only hope: “And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. … So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” And he was … given authority to continue for forty-two months.
God allows the beast to be brought back to life after being mortally wounded. In every point, the beast will be mirroring the Lord Jesus Christ. He will be allowed to rule three and one-half years, which is the length of Christ’s ministry, and he will counterfeit Old Testament miracles as well.
Lie Three: The beast will offer a false citizenship. In Revelation 13:6-10, he offers a counterfeit citizenship to the earth dwellers as he imitates the wonders of our Father’s house He’s preparing, the heavenly city, the streets of gold, and the Water of Life—making them here on earth and telling those people that they are not to wait for the Son of God from heaven: Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God …. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over … All who dwell on the earth … whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. … Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
In this passage, the beast starts a deadly rampage on the earth that causes a counterfeit citizenship. Those whose names are not in the Lamb’s Book of Life will worship the beast. But Christians know that our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20).
Lie Four: The beast will offer false worship or religion. In Revelation 13:11-15, the second beast, the false prophet, affirms his false message that imitates the true worship of the living and true God in spirit and in truth, not self-styled but biblical: Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast … and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, … And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs …, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image …, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.”
The term “another beast coming up out of the earth” is the same term used when Saul got the witch of Endor to conjure up Samuel. I am not sure how much God will allow here, but this second beast is an amazing creature. He will lead false worship. It is hard for us to comprehend right now, but we have become such a globally linked society that we know about things around the world as they are happening. As events happen, it will touch the whole world. This false resurrection will cause everyone in the world to be in wonder, because in the back of everybody’s consciousness is the story of Christ. John 1:9 says: That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. There is a basic awareness of the true living God. When people see this, most of the world without loving the Truth will start falling for the lie—because they have never known the Word of God.
Lie Five: The beast will offer a false security. In Revelation 13:16-18, through the “mark” he is imitating the Holy Spirit’s sealing of those in the Book of Life, betrothed to Christ, His very bride, kept and protected by the power of God unto salvation: He causes all … to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.
So then, how do we live in hope as we approach these fearsome days?
Examine your address label. Make sure you are addressed to the right destination. Ask yourself: Am I really a citizen of heaven, or just an earth dweller? Philippians 3:20 says that the born-again Christian’s citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. In light of that verse, step back and look at your direction. Honestly ask yourself: Where am I really headed? For God says: Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith … (2 Corinthians 13:5a).
Turn on your security system. Ask yourself: Have I really turned on my security system? Am I an authentic, signed original? Am I a sealed and secure container of heavenly treasure? One way to know if your security system is turned on is to watch what comes out of your life as your body ages and weakens. Is it the treasure of the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control—that spills forth from inside? Or is it the works of the flesh that ooze out from within your soul? Second Corinthians 4:7 says, But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. The weaker we get, and the shorter our time on earth, the more the treasure of Christ should spill out of our lives. Oh, how we should allow our weakness to show the righteousness of Christ coming out of us! So the next time you are sick, let the treasure of Christ come out instead of being irritable and angry.
Investigate the real thing. How well do you know Jesus by personal contact? How quickly do you recognize Him in His Book? Have you begun a lifelong pursuit of Jesus Christ in the Bible? Do you know the real well enough to recognize the counterfeit?
Let me remind you again that, to escape Satan’s counterfeits, the only place of safety is to have the security that the real Christ gives! Have you fled to Him as your eternal refuge? If not, don’t delay—He could come back today!
For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit discoverthebook.org.