Tag Archives: antichrist

Revelation: The Bowls of His Wrath

Today’s message summary of May 22, 2016 from Pastor Gus Brown:

We’re picking up into Revelation Chapter 16 and discussing the fourth, fifth and sixth bowls.

The judgment is coming against those who chose not to follow God and were following false teaching. This is not unlike what is being experienced today. There is an ongoing rendering of false doctrine. As it continues, hearts will be hardened. They have chosen to accept this style of teaching in spite of what God has declared.

The Antichrist is against everything that Christ stands for.

Revelation 16:8-16

The Fourth Bowl

The fourth poured out his bowl on the sun. He was given the power to burn people with fire, and people were burned by the intense heat. So they blasphemed the name of God, who had the power over these plagues, and they did not repent and give Him glory.

The Fifth Bowl

The fifth poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues because of their pain and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, yet they did not repent of their actions.

The Sixth Bowl

The sixth poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the east. Then I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming from the dragon’s mouth, from the beast’s mouth, and from the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons performing signs, who travel to the kings of the whole world to assemble them for the battle of the great day of God, the Almighty.

“Look, I am coming like a thief. The one who is alert and remains clothed so that he may not go around naked and people see his shame is blessed.”

So they assembled them at the place called in Hebrew, Armagedon.

With the fourth bowl, God uses the Sun by bringing intense heat (v. 8). This is in contrast to what happened in Revelation 8:12, where he blotted out part of the Sun.

Yet, the people were unrepentant. They became angry over the actions of God and cursed His name because of what He was doing to them. He was doing it to bring them to repentance, but they refused to do so.

It is not that they do not know that God is all-powerful. They readily know this is the case. We need to understand that Satan is nowhere near as powerful as God is.

You can be a highly intelligent person who is aware of all sorts of teaching, but without the knowledge of Christ, you are just foolish.

Have you noticed that the name of Jesus is always under attack? It is not the same as how the name of God is regarded. Men have come to a place where they will declare, “I don’t have to have reverence for God.”

Deuteronomy 5:11
Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses His name.

Leviticus 24:13-16
Then the Lord spoke to Moses: “Bring the one who has cursed to the outside of the camp and have all who heard him lay their hands on his head; then have the whole community stone him. And tell the Israelites: If anyone curses his God, he will bear the consequences of his sin.” Whoever blasphemes the name of Yahweh is to be put to death; the whole community must stone him. If he blasphemes the Name, he is to be put to death, whether the foreign resident or the native.

Let God be the One who carries out justice. Let Him intervene in any battles that you are involved in.

2 Chronicles 32:16-21
His servants said more against the Lord God and against His servant Hezekiah. He also wrote letters to mock Yahweh, the God of Israel, saying against Him:

Just like the national gods of the lands that did not deliver their people from my power, so Hezekiah’s God will not deliver His people from my power.

Then they called out loudly in Hebrew to the people of Jerusalem, who were on the wall, to frighten and discourage them in order that he might capture the city. They spoke against the God of Jerusalem like they had spoken against the gods of the peoples of the earth, which were made by human hands.

King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz prayed about this and cried out to heaven, and the Lord sent an angel who annihilated every brave warrior, leader, and commander in the camp of the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria returned in disgrace to his land. He went to the temple of his god, and there some of his own children struck him down with the sword.

Don’t say or do things that will insult God or His name.

God takes His own name very seriously–whether we choose to do so or not.

In Revelation, there is no fear or reverence of God by the people. They knew who was in control of the plagues. They still refused to repent. They have thoughts about God, due to their own belief system, that refuse to acknowledge Him.

They understood the power of God.
They were aware of God (not that He is not known)
They chose not to acknowledge Him as God, or glorify Him

Even today, as a people, we are becoming less and less sensitive to God.

1 Timothy 4:1-2
Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared.

The fifth bowl is a direct attack on the throne of the beast, who was giving false signs that he was powerful, but they were deceptive and were causing people to perish (they followed his signs and chose not to follow God).

Can he stop God’s attack or the power of God against his kingdom? No. His kingdom was plunged into darkness (confusion).

Darkness is to make them blind, including blinding the mind.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
The coming of the lawless one is based on Satan’s working, with all kinds of false miracles, signs, and wonders, and with every unrighteous deception among those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved. For this reason God sends them a strong delusion so that they will believe what is false, so that all will be condemned—those who did not believe the truth but enjoyed unrighteousness.

The strong will of the people (v. 11) caused them to curse the God of heaven. They gnawed their tongues in agony, but they did not repent for what they had done.

Revelation 9:20-21
The rest of the people, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands to stop worshiping demons and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which are not able to see, hear, or walk. And they did not repent of their murders, their sorceries, their sexual immorality, or their thefts.

Can one get so deep into sin that there is a refusal to repent? Wicked people can get to a place to believe that they are doing the right thing.

The purpose of the sixth bowl (v. 12) was to prepare for the king from the East to emerge across the dried bed of the Euphrates River for the Battle of Armageddon.

Luke 16:27-31
‘Father,’ he said, ‘then I beg you to send him to my father’s house — because I have five brothers — to warn them, so they won’t also come to this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, “They have Moses and the prophets, they should listen to them.’ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said. ‘But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ “But he told him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.'”

Don’t live in such a way that you remain in sin and fail to relent from a life without Jesus Christ.

Believe God and hold onto what He says.

The Scripture says, “Be ready” for Jesus Christ’s return.

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Who is Worthy to Judge and Open the Scroll?

Today’s message summary of August 23, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

We will be looking at Revelation, Chapters 5 and 6, this week and next week. They involve the opening of the scrolls and the sounding of the trumpets. This will reveal what mankind will do to one another–some of the worst things imaginable–when the Holy Spirit is not present to restrain evil.

The Holy Spirit has to be at work to allow a person to withstand the enemy.

When we look at the seals being opened, note that it is not so much as Christ doing it Himself, but rather Christ allowing it to take place. Christ is allowing people to see mankind at its worst. He is allowing Satan to outpour his rage against mankind.

Jesus is the only One who can open the seven seals (Revelation 5-6). He is the only One who has the authority to judge, and no one else.

The beginning of the tribulation starts with the seals being opened. This is God allowing Satan to do whatever he desires with the people without the restraint of the Holy Spirit.

Job 1:9-12

Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Haven’t You placed a hedge around him, his household, and everything he owns? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out Your hand and strike everything he owns, and he will surely curse You to Your face.” “Very well,” the Lord told Satan, “everything he owns is in your power. However, you must not lay a hand on Job himself.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence.

 

2 Thessalonians 2:7

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but the one now restraining will do so until he is out of the way.

 

In Revelation 5, the question is asked, “Who can open the scroll? Who is worthy?”

Jesus is not a secret, of course. Heaven had to recognize who He was! It is not so much a question for those in heaven as it was for those who are on earth.

Revelation 5:1-4

Then I saw in the right hand of the One seated on the throne a scroll with writing on the inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. I also saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals? But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or even to look in it. And I cried and cried because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or even to look in it.

 

No man or angel has the authority. No one can control the antichrist except the One.

John is a “visitor” in this vision of heaven. He learns that only One can open the scroll and start the process of judgment on humanity.

Revelation 5:5-7

Then one of the elders said to me, Stop crying. Look! The Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has been victorious so that He may open the scroll and its seven seals. Then I saw One like a slaughtered lamb standing between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent into all the earth. He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of the One seated on the throne.

 

Jesus has the ability to judge. He who is the Creator has the right to be able to judge.

Colossians 1:16

For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him.

 

Acts 17:30-31

“Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God now commands all people everywhere to repent, because He has set a day when He is going to judge the world in righteousness by the Man He has appointed. He has provided proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.”

 

There is a day when there will be a day of reckoning. (Whether one chooses to believe it or not.) No man or woman will miss it.

1 Corinthians 4:3-4

It is of little importance to me that I should be evaluated by you or by any human court. In fact, I don’t even evaluate myself. For I am not conscious of anything against myself, but I am not justified by this. The One who evaluates me is the Lord.

 

Romans 14:4

Who are you to criticize another’s household slave? Before his own Lord he stands or falls. And he will stand. For the Lord is able to make him stand.

 

God has the authority to judge.

John 5:26-27

For just as the Father has life in Himself, so also He has granted to the Son to have life in Himself. And he has granted Him the right to pass judgment, because He is the Son of Man.

 

God is still the Judge of those who reject Him.

John 12:48

The one who rejects Me and doesn’t accept My sayings has this as his judge: The word I have spoken will judge him on the last day.

 

Everyone will give an account of his life.

Romans 14:7-12

For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and came to life for this: that He might rule over both the dead and the living. But you, why do you criticize your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before the tribunal of God. For it is written: As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will give praise to God. So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

 

There is only One Lawgiver–One Judge.

James 4:12

There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

 

The Lamb is worthy to open the scroll (Revelation 5:6).

He looked weak when He was slain, but He is indeed strong.

Seven horns refer to complete authority (one who rules).

Seven eyes refer to complete knowledge of all life. Nothing is hidden from Him.

John 4:24-25

God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will explain everything to us.”

 

Revelation 6:1-2

Then I saw the Lamb open one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there was a white horse. The horseman on it had a bow; a crown was given to him, and he went out as a victor to conquer.

 

The word “come” can also be interpreted as the word, “go.” In other words, the antichrist was given permission to go forth over the world.

There are three different horses mentioned. Of the riders, Christ is not one of them. One of the riders is the antichrist.

The rider had a bow–a weapon of war.

He was given a crown to rule as a person with authority.

He rode out as a conqueror who was determined to conquer what was not his to subdue.

There is no timeframe mentioned here as to how long this would take place, but it involves the time when the restraint of the Holy Spirit was removed.


God Provides and Empowers His Witnesses

Today’s message summary of July 5, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

There will still be some sort of religious ceremony or presentation within Revelation Chapter 11. We will still see that Jerusalem is the center of all activity, just as it is today.

God will provide witnesses for Him and His Name. He will empower them and enable them to glorify His name.

Revelation 11:1-19

Then I was given a measuring reed like a rod, with these words: “Go and measure God’s sanctuary and the altar, and count those who worship there. But exclude the courtyard outside the sanctuary. Don’t measure it, because it is given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for 42 months. I will empower my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. If anyone wants to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and consumes their enemies; if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. These men have the power to close up the sky so that it does not rain during the days of their prophecy. They also have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every plague whenever they want.

When they finish their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, conquer them, and kill them. Their dead bodies will lie in the public square of the great city, which prophetically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. And representatives from the peoples, tribes, languages, and nations will view their bodies for three and a half days and not permit their bodies to be put into a tomb. 10 Those who live on the earth will gloat over them and celebrate and send gifts to one another because these two prophets brought judgment to those who live on the earth.

11 But after 3½ days, the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet. So great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” They went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies watched them. 13 At that moment a violent earthquake took place, a tenth of the city fell, and 7,000 people were killed in the earthquake. The survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14 The second woe has passed. Take note: The third woe is coming quickly!

15 The seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying:

The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom
of our Lord and of His Messiah,
and He will reign forever and ever!

16 The 24 elders, who were seated before God on their thrones, fell facedown and worshiped God, 17 saying:

We thank You, Lord God, the Almighty,
who is and who was,
because You have taken Your great power
and have begun to reign.
18 The nations were angry,
but Your wrath has come.
The time has come
for the dead to be judged
and to give the reward
to Your servants the prophets,
to the saints, and to those who fear Your name,
both small and great,
and the time has come to destroy
those who destroy the earth.

19 God’s sanctuary in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant appeared in His sanctuary. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings of thunder, an earthquake, and severe hail.

In Revelation 11:1, God is not directing John to measure like a ruler, but to determine the quality, or the standard of what is being presented in the sanctuary. Measure the value of worship. Does it meets God standard? Does it qualify? The worship in the temple in Revelation will be for the Antichrist.

I. God has a standard. You have to be willing to make the sacrifices to be different from the world and be holy. The standard has been lowered so much in this day and time that everyone is made to be comfortable in the church. Well, everyone is welcome to the church, but everyone should not feel comfortable in their sin.

In Revelation 11:2-6, God brings the two witnesses to stand against the Antichrist.

We are challenged to worship the One, true God, and to grow in our relationship with Him.

John 4:23

But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.

Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. Instead of lowering our standards of worship, we need to keep them as high as possible. The world has lowered its standard of worship, but we are challenged to worship Him as He cleanses us and equips us to minister to others.

Hebrews 9:14

…how much more will the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to serve the living God?

Psalm 51:2

Wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.

II. Christ is the center of our worship–in Revelation 11, that will not be the case.

The gospel message is to be delivered. The gospel message will not be delivered in the temple; furthermore, the wrong style of worship will take place in the temple in Revelation 11.

Titus 3:5

He saved us–not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

God gives the authority and power to the two witnesses (Rev. 11:4-5). He gives them the power to perform their ministry and for their protection. God knew that they would face opposition. He gave them fire to proceed out of their mouths, to hold back the rain and turn water into blood.

Scripture does not reveal who the two men are, but some believe that they are Elijah and Moses. Elijah and Moses performed signs that duplicate what these men will do, and they both appeared with Jesus during the Transfiguration.

Matthew 17:3-4

Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.

Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good for us to be here! If You want, I will make three tabernacles here: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

Malachi 4:4

“Remember the instruction of Moses My servant, the statutes and ordinances I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

Exodus 7:20

Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded; in the sight of Pharaoh and his officials, he raised the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the water in the Nile was turned to blood.

1 Kings 17:1

Now Elijah the Tishbite, from the Gilead settlers, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, I stand before Him, and there will be no dew or rain during these years except by my command!”

They could strike the earth with a plague whenever they desired (Revelation 11:6).

III. When their ministry is complete, Satan has the power to kill them. (Revelation 11:7-10)

You will finish on time.

Psalm 39:4

“Lord, reveal to me the end of my life and the number of my days. Let me know how short-lived I am.”

It is OK to stand alone.

2 Timothy 4:17

But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the proclamation might be fully made through me and all the Gentiles might hear. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.

God is with you.

Romans 8:31

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

There will be times in ministry where one needs to stand alone for Him.

There is an appointed time.

Job 14:5-6

Since man’s days are determined and the number of his months depends on You, and since You have set limits he cannot pass, look away from him and let him rest so that he can enjoy his day like a hired hand.

The two witnesses were empowered by God to perform as His witness. In the same way, recognize the power that God gives to you to be His witness for Him while you are able.

The fact that the beast can kill them reveals that they are physical beings. They are killed by the beast, who is also a person.

The two witnesses were killed in Jerusalem. The place is referred to Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified (Revelation 11:8).

Sodom – no morals; rebellion against God (Ezekiel 16:40)

Egypt – idols; captivity of God’s people

IV. God breaks up the party (v. 9-10)

All will see the bodies laying in the streets. Imagine all of the pictures uploaded on the internet and having them broadcast on YouTube!

The witnesses were proclaiming God’s Word, but when they were killed and the word of God was removed from the people, the people were celebrating their demise.

Imagine the terror of the people when they came back to life 3 1/2 days later! (v. 11)

For the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no reason to be ashamed of the gospel. It will require personal sacrifice, but it will be worth it for the testimony that is made before others.


The Antichrist and the Two Beasts

Today’s message summary of April 19, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

The Antichrist is more than just a person–it is a spirit. That spirit is anywhere that you find those that are against Jesus Christ. It permeates throughout society. It is present in its opposition of the proclamation of Christ’s name, and it works through the power of deception.

The key to its presence is the pressure placed on our value system and everything that we stand for. Eventually, just as a heated pot of water eventually boils, all of this will boil over.

The Antichrist is essentially Satan operating in the world. He can appear as an angel of light.

2 Corinthians 11:14

And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

 

Satan can only possess a body–he cannot create a body. He has to find a willing participant who desires to serve him. Demons function in this manner, as well.

Matthew 8:28-32

When He had come to the other side, to the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met Him as they came out of the tombs. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. Suddenly they shouted, “What do You have to do with us, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” Now a long way off from them, a large herd of pigs was feeding. “If You drive us out,” the demons begged Him, “send us into the herd of pigs.” “Go!” He told them. So when they had come out, they entered the pigs. And suddenly the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the water.

 

1 John 2:18

Children, it is the last hour. And as you have heard, “Antichrist is coming,” even now many antichrists have come. We know from this that it is the last hour.

 

In contrast to the Antichrist (Satan), Christ did not always have a body. He was created by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin.

John 1:14

The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

 

Hebrews 10:5

Therefore, as He was coming into the world, He said: You did not want sacrifice and offering, but You prepared a body for Me.

 

Acts 2:31

Seeing this in advance, he spoke concerning the resurrection of the Messiah: He was not left in Hades, and His flesh did not experience decay.

 

God the Father is not in a body.

John 4:24

God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

 

In Revelation 13, the first and second beasts are false prophets. Satan mirrors the Holy Trinity with what we can see is the unholy trinity:

  1. Satan: Antichrist (not seen–see 1 John 2:18)

1 Timothy 4:1

Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons.

  1. The first beast: given authority. He received what appeared to be a fatal wound to the head, but he survived. The whole world will follow him–who is like the beast (the head of the world). This is Satan’s effort to duplicate Christ’s resurrection, but even it is rooted in deception.
  1. The second beast: lamb (gentle); dragon (forceful) causes all to worship the beast. He will be allowed to exercise all authority on behalf of the first beast and be able to make political and military actions to bring about compliance.

The Holy Trinity:

  1. God the Father (Spirit–not seen).

John 6:38

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

  1. Son–Jesus Christ; resurrection–the head of all

Matthew 28:18

Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”

1 Corinthians 15:4-6

…that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time; most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep.

 

Colossians 1:18

He is also the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything.

  1. The Holy Spirit

John 16:8

When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment.

 

John 16:14

He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you.

 

Romans 1:3-4

…concerning His son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of David according to the flesh and who has been declared to be th epowerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness.

 

The Antichrist and his followers are intent to slander and demean God’s name. Churches are losing interest amongst the people. Many stay away from this fellowship believing that “I can have church all by myself.” The problem with this (and Satan knows it) is that it is not what God intended for people to support each other in fellowship, which has a must greater impact on society in proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Satan, in order to capture followers, attempts to follow the same plan as God in order to bring, and even force, people to comply with him through this unholy trinity.

Revelation 13:12-18

He (the second beast) exercises all the authority of the first beast on his behalf and compels the earth and those who live on it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He also performs great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in front of people. He deceives those who live on the earth because of the signs that he is permitted to perform on behalf of the beast, telling those who live on the earth to make an image of the beast who had the sword wound yet lived. He was permitted to give a spirit to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could both speak and cause whoever would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he requires everyone–small and great, rich and poor, free and slave–to be given a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark: the beast’s name or the number of his name. Here is wisdom: The one who has understanding must calculate the number of the beast, because it is the number of a man. His number is 666.


The End Times and Christ’s Return

Today’s message summary of April 12, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Scripture provides us with guidance as to how to prepare for the End Times. The day is coming, and it is up to us to open our eyes and believe that it will occur.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-6

About the times and the seasons: Brothers, you do not need anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. When they say, “Peace and security,” then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains come on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in the dark, for this day to overtake you like a thief. For you are all sons of light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or the darkness. So then, we must not sleep, like the rest, but we must stay awake and be serious.

 

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

 

In this world, we are searching for peace; yet, there is no real peace. Many people stir up trouble and difficulty. This lack of peace first began with John the Baptist giving an indication of the need for the coming of the Lord, who would be our true peace.

Today, people are looking for peace, but the stage has been set for what we are experiencing today with a breakdown of the moral fiber of our society. Where there is no morality, the emergence of the Antichrist will be a mere formality. He will proclaim to bring peace to the world, but He will merely promote himself and oppose everything that Christ stands for. There have been subtle changes over time that Satan has orchestrated.

God knows the time and the date as to when the End Times will occur. What is important to know is that Jesus IS coming again for His church. As believers, we should living for that day and that time. It is to be a way of life for every believer in Jesus Christ each day.

God does not want us to be sitting and waiting for His return–He wants us to be busy in the world doing what He has called us to do. He wants us to be a witness for Him before others.

With this knowledge, are you as busy for the Lord as you possibly can be?

We are to remain alert to the times that we live in, and we are to maintain self-control. The Holy Spirit will provide to us what we need.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake our asleep, we will live together with Him.

 

This does not mean that there will not be suffering during the End Times, but it does mean that God will remain present before those who experience the end times and protect believers in Him for all of eternity.

Scripture tells is that the Antichrist is active; in fact, many antichrists have come.

1 John 2:18-19

Children, it is the last hour. And as you have heard, “Antichrist is coming,” even now many antichrists have come. We know from this that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. However, they went out so that it might be made clear that none of them belongs to us.

 

1 John 2:21-22

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge. I have not written to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar, if not the one who denies that Jesus is the Messiah? This one is the antichrist: the one who denies the Father and the Son.

 

1 John 4:3

But every spirit who does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist; you have heard that he is coming, and he is already in the world now.

 

The main work of all of the antichrist is to deny Jesus. His main weapon is to deceive people and to make people believe lies (see Genesis 3; John 8:44).

2 John 1:7

Many deceivers have gone out into the world; they do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.

 

1 John 5:19

We know that we are of God, and the whole world is under the sway of the evil one.

 

Revelation 12:9

So the great dragon was thrown out–the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world. He was thrown to earth, and his angels with him.

 

Satan has set up many to be deceived–your sin and your transgressions will follow you, even though he will tell you that you can get away with them. If he is successful, he will keep you from a healthy, vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ.


1 John 2: The True Christian vs. the Antichrist

Truth will either push you away from the church or draw you to it. After all is said and done, it is God’s Word that declares the truth. John (in 1 John 2) declares that Jesus is the true Messiah–the Son of God. The Spirit of God is working in the lives of those who believe and trust in Jesus Christ. That is what the church needs and what its members should be seeking. He also notes that there is a spirit of the Antichrist–the father of false teaching. There were many false teachers prevalent at the time of John’s writings (as there are today). To overcome this, John will teach us the essentials of faith that a believer in Jesus Christ needs to live by. There comes a point where the words of God should match your actions and your behavior–to mature and grow spiritually as you live a Christlike existence. Spiritual maturity means growth in Christ, in spite of the apparent obstacles.

1 John 2:18-29

Children, it is the last hour. And as you have heard, ‘Antichrist is coming,’ even now many antichrists have come. We know from this that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. However, they went out so that it might be made clear that none of them belongs to us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.  I have not written to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar, if not the one who denies that Jesus is the Messiah? He is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son can have the Father; he who confesses the Son has the Father as well.  What you have heard from the beginning must remain in you. If what you have heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father.  And this is the promise that He Himself made to us: eternal life.  I have written these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.  The anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you don’t need anyone to teach you. Instead, His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie; just as it has taught you, remain in Him.  So now, little children, remain in Him, so that when He appears we may have boldness and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.  If you know that He is righteous, you know this as well: everyone who does what is right has been born of Him.

John points to the times he lived in as being “the last hour.” This declares a sense of urgency that Jesus was real and that He was returning soon (Revelation 22:20). Time is not relevant to the Lord (2 Peter 3:8-9), and no one knows the time when Jesus will return except for the Father (Mark 13:32). While Jesus is coming back soon, John is clear that the Antichrist is present, and there are many antichrists that are present now (1 John 2:18). The prefix “anti-” means to be against something or in opposition to something. To be an antichrist is to be in opposition to Christ and what He stands for (Satan vs. God; Antichrist vs. Jesus Christ; false prophets vs. the Holy Spirit). Antichrists distort God’s Word for their own benefits and profitability. The spirit of the Antichrist promotes lawlessness and a lack of peace, including rebellion against God (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4).

False prophets are prominent today and are out to deceive many (Mark 13:22; Acts 20:29-30; 2 Peter 2:1-3). There is a prevailing thought that many, who appear to be Christians, within the body of Christ, that are, in actuality, in opposition of Christ. They challenge God’s authority and can cause others to lose sight of who Jesus Christ is and finding things that take the place of Him in their lives (John 2:18-22; Matthew 12:30; Philippians 3:19; Colossians 1:18). God is One that confirms truth in our lives through the Holy Spirit, and promotes unity within the body of Christ. John declares that the false prophets and false teachers were not of us (1 John 2:19). Their declarations and their deeds just didn’t line up with truth (John 8:21-23, 44-47). By one’s deeds, we can learn that many are not truly followers of Christ and that there was never a true movement from the old ways (of the world) to the new ways of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16). A true follower of Jesus Christ must embrace the reality that living for Christ is an all or nothing lifestyle. He or she does not allow for compromise in their faith. It takes a desire to work at building the kingdom of God in your lifetime. It is throughout your waking hours that you are to yield to the Holy Spirit and be a living witness for Jesus Christ. It does require discipline and an ongoing focus, but this is the requirement of living a consistent, Christlike existence.

The true Christian is not moved from the truth (1 John 2:19-20; John 10:19). They are truly anointed by Christ through the Holy Spirit living within them. While man may teach or speak God’s Word, the Holy Spirit will confirm it as truth.

The antichrist (one who opposes Christ):

  • Does not know the truth
  • Lies and believes the lie
  • Does not allow the truth to remain in himself
  • Leads others away from Christ
  • May have the Word of God but not the anointing of God
  • Has a spirit of lawlessness, disorder, and hostility (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

No man can confirm truth, but the Holy Spirit confirms truth to us and promotes God’s Word with its instruction. God promotes order and peace in the life of a believer (1 Corinthians 14:33).

The anointed (those who have the Holy Spirit) have a love for Jesus Christ. They do not depart from Christ or the fellowship of believers. They know the truth (God’s Word), and acknowledge God, the Father, and Jesus Christ. They are not deceived by falsehoods that try to draw them away from God as they have spiritual discernment (1 John 2:26; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; John 14:26, 16:13). We are to live in Christ with confidence (1 John 2:28-29), because He gives us confidence as we have faith and trust in Him. We are not to be ashamed of living the Christian life. His righteousness declares that the true believer has been born of Him and remains in His hand, no matter what the Adversary says or does.