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"beast" Tagged Sermons

THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES

On the eve of his forced exile, Solzhenitsyn published a final message to the Russian people, titled: LIVE NOT BE LIES!
In the essay, Solzhenitsyn CHALLENGED THE CLAIM THAT THE TOTALITARIAN SYSTEM WAS SO POWERFUL THAT THE ORDINARY MAN AND WOMEN CANNOT CHANGE IT.
Nonsense, he said; “The foundation of totalitarianism is an ideology made of lies. The system depends for its existence on a people’s fear of challenging the lies. Our way must be; NEVER KNOWINGLY SUPPORT LIES! You may not have the strength to stand up in public and say what you really believe. You may not be able to overthrow totalitarianism, but you can find within yourself and your community the means to live in the dignity of truth. If we must live under the dictatorship of lies, then our response must be: “LET THEIR RULE HOLD NOT THROUGH ME!” Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Rod Dreher in his book also titled “LIVE NOT BY LIES” writes: “A Soviet émigré who teaches in a university deep in the US heartland stresses the urgency of Americans taking people like here seriously.
“You will not be able to predict what will be held against you tomorrow” she warns. “You have no idea what completely normal thing you do today, or say today, will be used against you to destroy you. This is what the people in the Soviet Union saw. We know how this works.”
On the other hand, my Czech émigré friend advised me not to waste time writing this book.
“People will have to live through it first to understand,” he says cynically. “Any time I try to explain current events and their meaning to my friends or acquaintances, I am met with blank stares or downright nonsense.” Rod Dreher

John Lennox comments:
“According to 2 Thessalonians, the power of the state will be vested in a man who sets himself up against God. Playing God has always been a temptation for powerful leaders.
Thus the fourth beast can be seen as the final manifestation of human rebellion against God. Both 2 Thessalonians and Revelation point out that the man-beast is energized by the dark power of Satan and is a master of deception.

Arnold Fruchtenbaum in his book “THE FOOTSTEPS of the MESSIAH” Writes about the fourth Empire, which he calls “Imperialism”
“Rome fulfilled only the first stage, and it would be wrong to assume that the fourth empire ended when the Roman Empire fell. Hence, one must ask what made the fourth empire, beginning with Rome, different from all the previous empires?
The key difference was in the TYPE OF GOVERNMENT initiated by Rome. When the Babylonians conquered an area, they did not set up Babylonian rulers, but allowed nationals to govern their owned countries. In its conquest of Judah, Babylon first appointed Zedekiah and later Gedaliah as rulers. The Medo-Persians proceeded in the same manner and allowed Jewish governors, such as Zerubbabel, and Nehemiah, to rule the land. The Hellenists worked in the same way. Instead of appointing Greek leaders, they allowed the Jewish high priests to govern the people. Rome, however, began a new system of government called ‘IMPERIALISM’ and this system is what made the fourth empire diverse from all the others. When Rome conquered a nation, Roman consuls were sent in to rule the area (Pontius Pilate, Felix, Festus).
While the Roman Empire initiated this policy of imperialism, it was merely the first of five stages of the fourth empire. Hence, a better name for the fourth empire would be “IMPERIALISM” or, even better, “THE IMPERIALISTIC EMPIRE.”
Both Daniel passages make it clear that the fourth Gentile empire begins with the end of the third and continues until Messiah comes to set up His kingdom. The imperialistic empire is to go through five successive stages and it is now necessary to study the five stages individually to see where history fits in this development.

WAIT UNTIL THE KING ARRIVES

John Lennox makes this observation regarding Daniel’s vision in chapter 7:13-14:
“The imagery conveys a powerful message. The beasts of power politics, however invincible they may sometimes think they are, will not reign forever. A perfect human, the Son of Man, will come with all authority finally to take over from the beasts and rule in perfect justice. The law of the jungle will cease for good. This is really good news. It holds out real and glorious hope to a despairing society.”

James Montgomery Boice in his commentary on Daniel writes:
“The important questions are: How did Jesus interpret this title? What meaning did he give to the figure of the Son of Man in Daniel?
There are several teachings.
He used it to teach his pre-existence.
In John 3:13, just a few verses before John 3:36, Jesus said of himself. “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven – The Son of Man.”
I am sure that even the disciples, who were often slow to understand the Lord’s teachings, would have recognized this statement as a reference to Daniel. They would have perceived Jesus to be teaching that he was the same figure seen by the prophet so many years before.
In John 6:62 there is a similar passage. There Jesus asks: “What if you see the son of Man ascend to where he was before!” That is, before he came to earth Jesus was seated at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. What if he should abandon his work on earth because of human unbelief and return there?
The existence of Jesus is not determined from the date of his incarnation. Our existence is determined from the date of our birth. That is why we celebrate birthdays. Before that we were not; now we are. This is not the case with Jesus Christ. There was a date at which he was born of the Virgin Mary, but this is not the point at which the existence of Jesus started. He existed before that, even before the point at which the prophet Daniel saw him. Being God, he existed from eternity.”

John Lennox
“The only thing that can steady the mind and steel the heart of believers to face all the forces that anti-God brutality can muster, is a steady vision of the One to whom is given all power on earth and in heaven and who will one day return to the planet that rejected him.”

Until the King Arrives, we will proclaim his virgin birth, his life, his death and his resurrection to everyone who is willing to listen. And everyone who believes and follows the Son of Man will one day watch HOW OUR LORD will judge the world in righteousness before he accepts the kingdoms of this earth given as an inheritance to him by His heaven father. What a day that will be.

Who Is MYSTERY BABYLON?

So, let’s make sure we have the proper spiritual foundation regarding this text.
Where is John the Apostle when God reveals those things to him?
REVELATION 4:1-2 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open IN HEAVEN. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying: “COME UP HERE, AND I WILL SHOW YOU THINGS WHICH MUST TAKE PLACE AFTER THIS.” Immediately I WAS IN THE SPIRIT; and behold, a throne SET IN HEAVEN, and One sat on the throne.
What John is describing from here on is all done IN THE SPIRIT, HIS WHEREABOUT WAS IN HEAVEN. He describes spiritual things.
Let’s go down the list of the characters we find in the 17th chapter and interpret them according to this truth.
1. Who is THE BEAST? Again, many commentators believe that this is the old Roman Empire and that the revived Roman Empire is the European Union. But the Bible says that the WHOLE WORLD IS FOLLOWING THE BEAST. Today, the European Union has about 700 million people. The world has about 7.5 billion people. What John describes impacts all the inhabitants of the earth.
2. Who are THE MOUNTAINS? Mountain symbolizes POWER. The seven heads, which represent seven mountains, or seven power structures. The work of God will be completed with the last bowl judgment. The Beast eventually will complete the evil power structure, because God has ordained it that way. Remember, it was on a hill, a mountain called Golgotha, where Jesus cried on from the cross: IT IS FINISHED. Sin has been dealt with once and for all. Satan has been judged. However, God allows him to build his final power structure, because the people want it that way.
3. Who are THESE KINGS? There are seven kings. Are they political, are they countries that rule in the end times? Are they political power structures like the UN? Or are they secret societies that worship Lucifer? Who are they? Before I explain the details about these 7 kings, let’s connect the dots. Inserted between verse 10 and 12 is found this statement: And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.
This beast is empowered by the beast of verse 8, which is Satan himself.
But on this earth, Satan, the spiritual beast, will enter a human being, which is described in verse 11 as the physically manifested beast, which the Bible declares to be the Antichrist. This human being has a short lived appearance on the world stage: 7 years to be exact.
4. Who are the TEN HORNS? These 10 horns represent 10 kings. Daniel 7:24
The 10 horns are 10 kings who shall arise from this kingdom, and another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings. Again it begs the question: Are these kings of flesh and blood on earth;
very unlikely!! when we interpret them within its biblical context. Making war against the Lamb speaks of a spiritual battle, a battle that is fought in the invisible world. There are no geographical boundaries here.
5. What does THE WATER REPRESENT? Revelation 17:15 And he said to me: “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues.” It matters not what religion your follow, what philosophy you have adapted to, and how much you have studied the religions of the world; all have one goal, and that is self-redemption. Salvation without Jesus Christ. Just as during Nimrods time, man still wants to reach heaven on their own terms, even if they have to crawl themselves up one day at a time.
6. Who is ‘MYSTERY BABYLON’? Listen, there is no other city on planet Earth more important, more significant, and more decisive than Jerusalem, where the “Mystery Babylon” the religious and political power structure condemned Jesus to be crucified. The powers of darkness were right there shouting for joy.
And it is exactly in this city of Jerusalem where Satan and his cohorts made their fatal mistake; for the first time in all of human history, Satan caused the death of an innocent man, a man of flesh and blood – Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of man. With this sacrifice, the gates of faith were opened to follow the example of faith, Abraham. The power structures of Satan, the god of this world, the one who rules the world right now under God’s permission, has only a short time to go. One day in the not too distant future, he will meet the truth, the real truth.

A Look Behind The Curtain

Most commentators on this chapter focus on what they believe will be happening in the not too distant future for everyone to see. In other words, the curtain is lifted and the show begins for everyone to enjoy. I believe that there is much more to this 17th chapter than the eye meets. We need to take a look behind the curtain. It is there where the actors are very busy making themselves ready for the next set, but the audience cannot see them until the curtain is lifted.
You’ve already learned that “Babylon” means “confusion, rebellion, or “the gate of God”. When Nimrod, the mighty hunter, was building the tower of Babel, God eventually confused their language. That’s the background info for the meaning CONFUSION, REBELLION. The other meaning” the gate of God” suggests SELF-REDEMPTION. All these spiritual conditions are still with us: Confusion, rebellion and self-redemption. They will climax at the end of the age, just prior to Jesus return to this earth.
The Mystery Babylon in chapter 17 represents the spirit of Babylon, rebellion against God and His Word and replaced in the minds of the inhabitants of this world with Self Redemption. So, who is this drunken woman, this “Mystery Babylon” which drank the blood of the martyrs of Jesus and continues to commit spiritual fornication with the political power structure of the world?
I know, most commentators point towards the Roman Catholic Church because she is the only entity in the entire world that is simultaneously a religious and a spiritual power. However, such a conclusion has its own problems when we examine every word in this chapter carefully.
We must remember that we live in a world right now where a global financial system that ignores sovereign borders is already in place. We also watch right now how a one-world religion is in the formative stages. The stage is set, while the actors are still behind the curtain. The day will come when the curtain is being lifted and the whole world will be a part of the final show.
Mystery Babylon will simply finalize the work Nimrod and after him the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar have established.
The book of Daniel is read way too often in Sunday Schools only. The kids love the stories about the 3 Hebrew youth who refused to worship a false god and had to endure the fire. When Daniel refused to worship a false God, he was thrown into the lion’s den. The fire, which stands for judgment, could not consume them, and the Lion, which symbolizes our enemy, who like a lion is stalking us daily, seeking whom he may devour. GOD DELIVERED THEM ALL. And so will our Lord do again when the final stage is set, the command given, that all inhabitants of the earth must bow down and worship the false god. The Lord will deliver His people just as he did the 3 Hebrew youth and Daniel.
The king of this holy nation is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The inhabitants of this Holy Nation do not get drunk with the wine of her fornication, but ARE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT.
She made the inhabitants of the earth drunk with the wine of her fornication. Notice, this type of drunkenness is not due to wine but the due to the wine of her fornication. This is not too difficult to interpret. Fornication is translated from the Greek word “PORNEIA”. It means two people, or two entities get together to have sexual intercourse, or to become one. Within the context of the message here, it simply means that religion got involved with politics, and politics with religion. Notice that all the people for the earth, all governments of the earth, and rulers of this world have the same goal: they are all made drunk, they are all intoxicated with this fornication.
Being made drunk makes you incapable of good judgment. In other words, you cannot see the consequences coming your way until it is too late.
Mystery Babylon and those who are a part of it have their eyes fixes on their successes, so much so the Bible describes them as acting like drunkards.
The counterfeit spirits of Satan and the counterfeit power of Satan is carrying the women, the harlot, the world system of religion and politics.
WE need to have our spiritual eyes opened to the spiritual reality of this diabolic deception. While most people focus their eyes on the things of this earth, the born again believer should have his or her eyes on the spiritual truth revealed to us in the Bible by the Holy Spirit.

The SPIRITUAL Showdown

We sometimes forget that there is nothing the rulers of this world, or the spiritual demonic entities, can do to catch God off guard. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob knows the end from the very beginning.
“The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.” A.W. Tozer
When we talk about the spiritual showdown revealed to us in this 16th chapter of Revelation, we also talk about the spiritual warfare every Christian is involved. If we are not familiar with the entire Bible, which includes all prophetic passages (about 28 % of it is prophetic), we are ineffective when the enemy brings 100% of his plan to your doorstep. The whole world will find out the hard way.
The kingdom of God is the rule of God. God desires to rule over all He has created; the invisible spiritual realm and the visible earthly realm. He will have His way in both domains. How will He do it? Isaiah 14:12-27 God will bring the spiritual and the physical domain together for a final showdown to judge the spiritual and the physical rulers. The 6th bowl judgment is all about that final showdown which God promised in His word would come to pass. He will fulfill it in every detail.
Careful observation will reveal that this is the identical sequence which we find in the Garden of Eden story. It was there where God walked and talked with His creation. This spiritual showdown will set the final steps of God in motion to once again walk and talk with His creation on this earth.
There are 3 very specific demon spirits mentioned in this verse.
One comes from the Dragon’s mouth. The second one comes from the mouth of the beast. And the third one comes from the mouth of the false prophet. This trio is known as the TRINITY FROM HELL. The Dragon is Satan, the Beast is the Antichrist, the False Prophet is the religious leader.
This special place is in the plain of Megiddo. Megiddo is the Hebrew word corresponding to the Greek word Armageddon. This valley of Megiddo is 14 miles wide and 20 miles long. Certainly not large enough to be sufficient for the armies of the world. But the Bible does not tell us that that’s where they all will be at one time. The Greek word translated “battle” literally means “campaign”. Actually, the text in verse 14 literally means:
“ unto the campaign (or battle) of the day, the great one, the one of God, the Almighty One.” In other words, these words emphasize the fact that this period will fully demonstrate the omnipotence and sovereignty of God Almighty.
In other words, the whole world is assembled for this spiritual showdown. It will be the world, under the leadership of Satan, against God Almighty.
How God will do it, we will learn in the next few chapters. Remember, whatever God has written down in his Word, every prophecy, every promise, every single word, will come to pass just as He said. WE can certainly trust Him and His Word.