Summary: In this sermon we'll looking at the second two members of the unholy trinity: the first beast, the Antichrist, and the second beast, the False Prophet. We'll also be exploring what it will take for believers to counter their deception.
The Book of Revelation
It was testimony night and a lady got up and said, "We are living in a wicked land where sin is on every hand. I have had a terrible fight with the old devil all week." Her husband, who was sitting by her side, said, "It’s not all my fault; she’s tough to get along with."
It’s interesting that there’s so much interest concerning the End Times. In fact you can almost hear more about the end times in theaters than you can in church. Maybe it’s because the church has tried to stay away from to the sensationalism and hype that surrounds the End Times.
The problem is there’s a lot of misinformation out there, along with a deliberate attempt to have people miss the real point. As believers in Jesus Christ we need to know the truth of what the Bible teaches about these events. Although much of what the Bible reveals is wrapped in symbolism, we still can understand the realities of what takes place.
And though the Bible doesn’t give us a specific date as to when these events will occur, as well as any detailed analysis, it does reveal the general aspects of these events along with a kind of time frame when they will happen, including these last 7 years.
Read Revelation 13:1-10
The First Beast: The Antichrist
The Antichrist’s Origin
We see Satan standing on the shore and that this beast, the Antichrist, comes out of the sea. The sea has two basic meanings that help us understand the origins of the Antichrist.
Throughout Scripture the sea is often a picture of mankind, particularly the Gentile nations. We certainly see that in Daniel 7, where the four beasts that come from the sea represent the Gentile nations who will rule over Israel.
But the sea in the ancient world is associated with chaos and evil. And it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Antichrist is going to be able to rise to power during a time of great chaos. In fact, he comes on the scene at the very beginning as a man of peace.
We have several examples throughout history. The most well known is the rise of Hitler in Germany. In the midst of the chaos following World War I, the German people were facing hunger and were in most regards without hope. They were searching for a leader who could bring order out of the chaos. Hitler didn’t need to take power by force because the people willingly gave it to him.
With these two descriptions we see the Antichrist first bringing peace to the world’s chaos, seeing there will be wars and rumors of war, natural disasters will abound, and people will be looking for a leader that will bring order and peace into the chaos.
I see two nationalities of the Antichrist. In Isaiah we see someone coming who is called the “Assyrian,” Isaiah 10:5-6; 14:25; 30:30-31. This was also the nationality of Antiochus Epiphanies who actually is identified by Daniel and Jesus as a forerunner of the coming Antichrist. But I also see him being Jewish as well, because who better to bring peace to the Middle East than both an Arab and Jew combined together.
He’s also coming from Europe, or the revised Roman Empire, which is described as that little horn in Daniel 7, and the ten toes of Daniel’s dream in chapter 2. This also fits the sea being understood as many different people groups, because Europe and the new revised Roman Empire will be a diverse group of people covering a multitude of languages and nations.
But there’s also the spiritual origin, and that is the dragon Satan. It says that the dragon Satan was standing on the shore and to which the beast comes out unto.
Similarities exist between the Antichrist and the dragon. In Revelation 12:3 it says that the dragon had “seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads.” The only difference is that the crowns in chapter 13 on the horns of the Antichrist are 10 instead of 7. This clearly shows that the dragon and the beast are not the same, but that they are certainly related.
Now ten crowns to the seven is easily remedied in Daniel when the little horn is raised up, which is the Antichrist, and he uproots three of the ten horns, thus leaving seven.
When we get to Revelation 17 we’ll examine this in more detail, but this is saying that Satan is behind and orchestrating the events of the world through the Antichrist. And what we will see is that he literally possesses the Antichrist.