Summary: In Revelation 13 we hear the strategy of the antichrist, he is a deceiver, John describes how Satan will be a master at counterfeits and make it difficult to discern between what is of God and what is not. Here are 4 keys, to discern the real from the imitation, that we might live uncompromised.

in the N.T. there are over 300 references to the Lord’s return, The most common promise in the bible spoken by Jesus, I will return, this promise inspired a great hope, kingdom of God est. no more evil, no more persecution, no more hate, no more, crime, no more disease disaster, decay or death. john heard 1st hand, 70 years later All the disciples have been martyred, John alone is left, he is in prison, Jesus appears, rev. is divided into 3 sections, what has occurred, what is happening now, and what will come later. Jesus said, those who persevere will be overcomers, But before things get better they will get worse, a 7 year period of tribulation, last week learned 3 weapons for persevering in time of trib, 3 keys, blood of the lamb, the word of their testimony, and loving Jesus more than life itself. He will make us to be not just survive trib but to overcome, in rev. 13. we hear @ strategy of the antichrist, he is a deceiver, As I read this book and listen to what John describes I hear satan will be a master at counterfeits and will make it difficult to discern between what is of god and what is not. 4 key areas, real vs. imitation, no compromise trib Read Rev 13:11-18

Two Christians were standing at the side of the road near a bridge holding a sign read, “The End is near!” A Car approached, tires squealed to a stop, driver shook his fist and rebuked the Christians, “You stupid religious fanatics, Just go home and quit the signs,” then he hit the gas, headed across the bridge, the Christians heard the tires squeal again and then a loud splash, one Christian turned to the other and said, “do you think we ought to rewrite our sign to read “bridge out ahead?”

I confess I am a religious fanatic, I believe we are living in the last day, I don’t have a sign but I believe The end is near, nearer than it has ever been in history, evidence or sign of the end of the age, there will be a spirit of deceit. 4 insights to discern against deception, in tribulation,

first insight surrounds the identity of the beast, One commentator titles Rev. 13 as “The Unholy Trinity”. The reason for “Unholy Trinity” title is because John describes in the trib, three characters who enter into the world, one is described as a dragon and two are called beasts. Now, The HOLY Trinity is God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Scripture teaches three persons of the God head.

John now describes appearance of a counterfeit in the last days, The Unholy Trinity, the Dragon (chap 12), the Anti-Christ, (Revelation 13:1-10), and the False Prophet who is the counterfeit H.S.,

So just as in the trinity, God the father gives his Son Jesus all authority and HS testifies to Jesus, Now Satan gives power to his son, the antichrist (13:1-10) and in our scripture today Rev. 13:11-18, the false prophet is introduced with the function to testify about the antichrist,

Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24, "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” In Rev. 13, this second beast makes all those on earth worship the antichrist, He performs signs, deceives the world. He tells earth to make an image of the first beast, they construct an image, then the 2nd beast gives breath to the image of the beast. the image speaks and they worship it.

2nd insight for discernment, the beast will introduce the counterfeit of God’s seal, it is described as the mark of the beast. “He causes all to be given a mark on their right hand and forehead. No one is exempt, no one can buy or sell w/o the mark. What will this look like! In Revelation 13:17, the False Prophet uses his power to get folks to receive the mark of the antichrist. Listen up, warning: Beware, Satan is a counterfeiter, here is the clue … we have a counterfeit, imperative to know and see the difference between the seal vs. the mark, In Revelation 7:2-3; God "seals" his servants, but in Rev. 13:17 Satan "marks" his people, The only way they will be able to engage in business, buy or sell food, or property, they must have the "mark of the beast," In essence here by receiving the mark they are sealed by the Devil as his possession, he is their Lord, they are his servants. In Rev. 14:11 Everyone that receives the mark will be eternally separated from God in torment.

3rd insight, discern this clear act of deception, be aware, The Greek word for "Mark" used in Revelation, is the Greek word `charagma.' however, in the Bible there is another word sounds very similar in Greek language it is kerygma, used for the proclamation of the gospel, it is real close to charagma, but it is different, from Kerygma. Kerygma is the assignment given to disciples, it is their commission with Christ, so very interesting, in the time of tribulation, false prophet will convince people to take the charagma, the mark people will receive not the kerygma, the proclamation of the gospel, but the “charagma” the mark of the beast. How similar, the Kerygma gospel proclaimed, marks one as a disciple literally a bond servant with Christ. Charagma, means an engraving, etching into the flesh which marks as servant, but not to victory in Christ, rather to eternal destruction.

4th insight, Revelation 13:18, “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is 666.” I googled the number 666 on the internet, over 51 million entries! people trying to figure out this one number, 666! different times history, people identified the number with a person, nero, hitler, the pope, some have equated the numbers are bar codes or credit cards The Mark is a number which is required for buying and selling. John speaks with a sense of urgency, this is critical, don’t miss this don’t be deceived, “Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast.” John implies that the answer can be understood, we can know it, this number and insight will be knowable, in other words we won't be ignorant, blindsided because we are capable of realizing this Beast's identity. So be alert,

In fact, John uses in Revelation 13:18 the word “calculate (gematria, GK).” Now that looks like the Greek word and includes an invitation to "gematria". What is gematria? Gematria is the practice of interpreting words according to the numerical value of their constituent Hebrew letters. OK But what or whose name is it? So here is the deal, when you are faced with the counterfeit and expected to compromise, as you seek God, and stay fully in the Word, you will receive the key to the riddle. It has to do with 666. Do not receive that mark, that image, because embracing it will disqualify you from heaven, cause eternal judgment. So the mark, what will it look like?

4 insights, about the systems and counterfeits of antichrist, 1st it will be a system that looks similar to the trinity but actually promotes rebellion against God. 2nd it imitates the Kerygma, the gospel seal of God and replaces it with charagma, the mark of the counterfeiter, 3rd the mark may look like the sign of a willing follower of Christ, but it is the mandatory mark of conscripted slave of the antichrist. 4th key for insight, that mark is a number, its close to perfection, but does not meet the standard of god, it will disqualify the bearer from eternity with God,