Good morning everybody. Let’s take our Bibles and open them to the Book of Revelation, chapter 13, Lord willing I’m trying to make it through verses 6-10 today. The title of our message this morning is The Coming World Ruler (Part 3). And of course tomorrow is Memorial Day, this is Memorial Day weekend and we all recognize that it’s more than just a holiday and barbeque. There was actual blood that was shed so that we could have the freedom to do sort of what we’re doing right now, to meet in open expressing our First Amendment rights. So we always are very grateful for the blood that was shed to give us freedom.
On another note a tragedy happened earlier this week, one of my students, David Harrison, some of you may remember David, he was actually attending this church for a stint, I have to say he probably one of the most eager students I’ve ever had at the College of Biblical Studies, and he had taken a local church here in town, in the Houston area and was doing great things and God was using him and tragically he had a (from what I’ve been able to piece together) a heart attack or a cardiac arrest or something which ended his very, very young life.
And it’s one of those type of things where you see it on social media and you think you’re seeing things, this couldn’t have happened. I had just received a text from him that I hadn’t responded to yet and so it sort of reminds you of the Book of James, chapter 4 and verse 14 which tells us that we’re like mist that appears for a little while and then it’s gone. [James 4:14, “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.”] You don’t really understand why God would allow that to happen, it’s one of those kinds of things you just sort of plead mystery, but I would encourage you to lift up his family and particularly his church and his wife, Melissa, during this obviously very difficult time.
We continue to move through the Book of Revelation where the various trumpet judgments have been unleashed. The seventh trumpet is sort of announcing a transfer, legally, of this world from Satan’s hands into God’s hands. And we come to a section of the Book of Revelation which is sort of a pause in the chronology where “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; [and He will reign forever and ever.”] Revelation 11:15.
And we see Satan making a counter move. What better way to stop the transfer of authority from Satan’s hands to God’s hands than to destroy the instrument thought which the kingdom will come, Israel. Revelation 12. It’s an explanation there of why the world hates Israel. There you see Satan’s complete frontal attack against Israel in the second half of the tribulation period. And that logically follows in Revelation 13 where you have a description of the two beasts that Satan will use. One of them is the antichrist, verses 1-10; the second one is the false prophet, verses 11-18. And this is the section of the Book of Revelation probably where you get the greatest discussion or treatment on this coming antichrist, a world leader that will come on the scene one day.
We’ve looked at many things related to this antichrist; we’ve looked at his sudden appearance in John’s vision, his gentile ethnicity, the fact that he is the fulfillment or embodiment of many of the prophecies spoken of by Daniel, the fact that he is directly empowered by the devil himself, his resurrection, and we looked at some of the complexities of that. The fact that the world will worship him on account of his power. We’ve looked at his oratory; we’ve looked at the time in which he will extend his authority, the second three and a half years of the tribulation period. And as we continue to move through this information verse by verse we now come to his blasphemies.
Notice, if you will, Revelation 13:6, it says, “He,” that’s the beast, “opens his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.” You’ll notice there’s a reference here to his mouth, he opened “his mouth” and spoke. We’ve had a reference to his mouth back in verse 5 and what comes out of his mouth are blasphemies, in fact, you see the word “blaspheming” or “blasphemies,” that word is used at least two times there in verse 6. We saw it a little bit back in verse 5. It also mentions his arrogant words and blasphemies. What exactly is a blasphemy? It’s to speak against someone in such a way so as to injure their reputation in the eyes of others.
We might put it in modern day vernacular it would be like slander in the legal system today where you aggressively manipulate, lie, about someone to such an extent that you’re intent is to destroy their business, their credibility, their reputation in the eyes of others, it’s actually what we call in the legal system a torte. You can actually be sued for that and if you put it in print it’s called liable.
And you’ll notice that this is what is naturally coming out of Satan’s mouth in the second half of the tribulation period and he is specifically blaspheming four things. What four things exactly is he (the beast) blaspheming? It says there in verse 6, number on, he’s blaspheming God. God is featured very prominently in the Book of Revelation. He is the one who sits on the heavenly throne, Revelation 4:9. [Revelation 4:9, “And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever,”] The lamb there, Revelation 5:6-7, is standing in heaven. [Revelation 5:6-7, “And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.  And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.”]
And Satan through the beast at this particular point in the tribulation period begins to blaspheme what is in heaven or God Himself. It’s interesting, and by the way, isn’t it interesting that when we get upset about something you cut off on the freeway, it’s so easy to take the Lord’s name in vain, it’s so easy to blaspheme Jesus Christ the second member of the Godhead. And I’ve noticed that, even while I was unsaved, before I got saved, when I would get upset at something, blasphemies against Jesus so easily rolled off my tongue. I never blasphemed Mohammed, that was unnatural. People don’t blaspheme Buddha. But isn’t it interesting how when they’re upset about something the first name they take in vain is Jesus, the second member of the Godhead. That, to me, in and of itself must prove that the Bible is true because there is some sort of pent up hatred in the human heart already for Jesus Christ. It’s just something interesting to think about.
And so this is who Satan is blaspheming. He blasphemes God. Now this is interesting here, it says in verse 6 he also blasphemes His name. Why is he blaspheming His name? Because he knows what’s coming forty-two months later… the kingdom! And once the kingdom is established on planet earth the name of the Lord will be exalted. Prophecy predicts that.
Isaiah 29:23 of the kingdom age, God says, “They will sanctify My name.” [Isaiah 29:23, “But when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, They will sanctify My name; Indeed, they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob And will stand in awe of the God of Israel.”]
Ezekiel 36:23 says, God says through Ezekiel, “I will vindicate the holiness of My Great Name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. [Then the nations will know that I am the LORD,’ declares the Lord GOD, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight.”] You see the opportunity to blaspheme the name of God is very limited. That opportunity is not going to exist during the thousand year kingdom because His name, according to Bible prophecy, is going to be exalted. And this may be one of the reasons Satan is blaspheming His name. He’s only got forty-two months left to do it.
And isn’t it interesting that all of the profanity, all of the filth, all of the anti-God statements that pour forth all of the time, from all forms of media, all kinds of news outlets, all kinds of public school systems, isn’t it interesting that the opportunity to do that is limited so you’d better enjoy it now if you’re into that kind of thing because the day will come in the millennial kingdom when the name of the Lord will be exalted to its rightful place.
He blasphemes God, he blasphemes God’s name, there’s a third thing he blasphemes there, according to verse 6 he blasphemes God’s tabernacle. Now we know, Revelation 15:5 that the tabernacle is in heaven. [Revelation 15:5, “After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of testimony in heaven was opened.”] We know, Hebrews 8:5 that it was the image of the heavenly tabernacle that Moses was given to create the earthly tabernacle. [Hebrews 8:5, “who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, ‘SEE’ He says, ‘THAT YOU MAKE all things ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN WHICH WAS SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN. ” We know there’s a heavenly tabernacle.
And we know that the ark, Revelation 11:19, is there in heaven in that very temple or tabernacle. [Revelation 11:19, “And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.”] I say that because while Harrison Ford is out looking for the raiders of the lost ark I actually know where it is, it’s in heaven. And so Satan is blaspheming all of these things. Anything that is of value to God, whether it be God, God’s name, God’s heavenly tabernacle, he blasphemes. And a lot of people miss what he does, verse 6, Satan through the beast, at the end of verse 6 he blasphemes “those who dwell in heaven.” Revelation 13:6, “And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.”]
Now who would that be? Well, according to Revelation 5:11, Revelation 7:11, there are at least two things, perhaps three in heaven. [Revelation 5:11, “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands.” Revelation 7:11, “And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,”]
Number one, myriads of angels, an uncountable number of angels, ten thousand times ten thousand. So that would be one group of heavenly dwellers that Satan is verbally attacking. And then you have this special category of creatures in heaven that we’ve all studied in the Book of Revelation, they’re called “the four living creatures.” Satan attacks them verbally through the beast as well. And yet there’s another group that we have studied in heaven, they don’t show up in any other heavenly scene. Isaiah had many prophecies about the heavenly scene, Isaiah 6, as did Ezekiel, and you never find this group ever mentioned until you get to the Book of Revelation, after Revelation 3 as you move into Revelation 4 there’s another group in heaven called “the twenty-four elders.” “And all the angels,” Revelation 7:11, “were standing around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God.”
Revelation 7:11, the twenty-four elders are there as well. “And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God.” Revelation 5:11, the twenty-four elders are there as well. [Revelation 5:11, “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands.”]
Now who could those twenty-four elders possibly be? We’ve taught on this, haven’t we? We said the way these twenty-four elders are described sounds an awful lot like the way the church and the churches are described in Revelation 2 and 3. When you go through Revelation 2 and 3 systematically and we’ve done that, you start to get a description of the church and you read about what the twenty-four elders and the twenty-four elders have the same characteristics as the church. And t I think is happening here is Satan is attacking verbally everything in heaven, including the church itself, and is the church really in heaven? Well, Revelation 1:20 tells us that the seven lampstands are the seven churches. And Revelation 4:5 says the seven lamps or lampstands are before the throne. Where is the throne? It’s in heaven. I think Satan is launching a blistering attack on the church in heaven and you ask yourself, well how did the church get up there? The answer is the rapture of the church.
Once you start to see are built-in proofs, and I’ll show you more of them today as we progress, that the church is not on the earth when these events happen and that’s why Satan hates the church, they got outside of His wrath. There’s a group of people he wanted to eradicate completely but couldn’t because they were translated, harpazo, removed into heaven before the tribulation period even started, escaping the day of Satan’s storm. He is attacking verbally those who ae in heaven which would include angels, the four living creatures and the very church itself.
It’s very interesting to me that the church is hated by the world system while it’s here and it continues to be hated by the world system after it’s gone. Now a lot of people say well, you know, I don’t about all this rapture stuff. I usually like to tell people that tell me that, “well, don’t worry, we’ll explain it to you on the way up.” [Laughter] But a lot of people say well how can all of these people just disappear from the planet. How could the world system explain this massive disappearance of people in the rapture. Beloved, the intellectual framework is already in place for that explanation. You just have to know where to read to find it.
This is a book by Alice A. Bailiey called The Coming Synthesis and the book is very interesting to me because she is receiving information from an entity called Dijwhal Khul, (if I’m pronouncing that right) it’s called The Seventh Ray: Revealer of the New Age. You can find this and read it but I wouldn’t read it unless God is calling you to do that. And this entity that she’s talking to is what she calls in the New Age movement, her ascended master, a higher being sent to kind of help the human race evolve correctly. Now the Bible knows no such doctrine as higher beings and so Alice Bailiey who exactly is she talking to? She’s talking to a demon masquerading as an angel of light.
And when you read Alice Bailiey’s book you start to get an understanding of the future that Satan has for planet earth and how it fits exactly into what God said would happen in the last days. This ascended master allegedly told Alice Bailiey “The coming of the Aquarian age” that’s the New Age definition of their millennial kingdom, “also stimulates in man a spirit of universality and a tendency towards fusion. This can be seen working out in the present trend towards synthesis in business, in religion and in politics.” Everything has got to come together in terms of a synthesis. “It produces an urge towards union, and among other unions, towards religious understanding and tolerance….” Isn’t it interesting that tolerance is really the last virtue today people will respect. You know, the foundation of western civilizations used to be another “T” word, Truth, the highest virtue. That’s no longer in abundance today, is it? People by and large don’t even value truth. What they value is tolerance; tolerance has replaced truth as the last virtue of the dying civilization.
“False and true standards will emerge in man’s consciousness, and those choices will be made which will lay the foundation of the new order, which will inaugurate the new race, with its new laws” my goodness, “and novel approaches shall usher in the new religion of love and brotherhood, and that period wherein the group and the group-good will be the dominant note.” Group consensus is going to rule the day, not the individual. Well what happens to all the trouble makers? I mean, what happens to the people that don’t want to “get along and go along” with this? The demons told Alice Bailiey “Then separateness and hatreds will fade out” how in the world are we going to fade out? I would say we’re going to fade out through the rapture. “…and men will be merged in a true unity.” [Alice A. Bailiey and Dijwhal Khul, The Seventh Ray: Revealer of the New Age (NY: Lucius Press, 1995), 198-99]
There’s coming some sort of cyclical cleansing of this earth whereby fundamentalism and belief in an absolute Word of God and people that think that way and believe that way, they’re just going to fade out. You say well, Pastor, are you telling me that the demons themselves understand the rapture of the church? You bet your bottom dollar they understand it. In fact, Satan believe in the doctrine of the pre-tribulational rapture of the church far more than most theologians today, far more than most preachers. And the explanation is already in place to explain to the world where did everybody go? Now that’s just part one.
Here’s another book, this one was written by Barbara Marx Hubbard, it’s entitled The Revelation: and you look at the title and you think well it’s going to be about the Book of Revelation. No it’s not, it’s a documented record of what her spirit guide, i.e. a demon, was telling her, I think if I read social media correctly Barbara Marx Hubbard died recently. She was a key leader in what’s called The New Age. She was actually into nomination for the Vice Presidency in 1984, and this is what her demon told her.
“Your unfinished species is ready to evolve. The time has come on Earth for this quantum change to occur in many of you.” Her “Christ” further informed her “I cannot ‘return’ until enough of you are attracted and linked.” Hubbard’s “Christ” explained, “I did not intend for you to deify me, but to deify yourselves as being at the same stage of evolution as I am.” “Suffice it to say, that if you do not choose to evolve into a wholesome, co-creative human, then you shall not.” “…the fundamental regression is self-centeredness, or the illusion that you are separate from God. I ‘make war’ on self-centeredness.” the demon says, “Furthermore, “At the co-creative stage of evolution, one self-centered soul is like a lethal cancer cell in a body; deadly to itself and to the whole.” Thus, “The surgeon dare leave no cancer in the body when he closes up the wound after a delicate operation. We dare leave no self-centered person on Earth after the selection process. [Explanation of the missing, Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium, 2nd ed. (Novato, CA: Nataraj, 1995), 65, 66, 195, 233, 240, 255]
You understand what’s happening here? Do you understand how the Biblicist or the fundamentalist or someone that wants to walk with Jesus Christ on the authority of God’s Word is viewed by the world system, they’re like a lethal cancer cell that at some point is going to be removed from the body or humanity. Now how in the world is that going to happen? That’s the rapture. And what you’re reading here is the satanic explanations that will be offered to the world the moment the rapture occurs. The troublemakers have been removed and now we can all approach this sort of brotherhood of humanity, of tolerance and love. And gone are the days when people are going to stand in pulpits and say “Thus saith the Lord.” Gone are going to be the days where people are going to say “Broad is the road that leads to destruction and many there are that go that way; narrow is the road that leads to life, few are those who find it.” That day is over, those people have been taken away.
And it’s very interesting to me to read about the intellectual framework or preparation that’s already in place to explain away the rapture of the church to a godless unsaved world. That’s kind of some interesting reading, don’t you think.
We move away from his blasphemies to the beast’s persecution. Look at verse 7. “It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.” Well, what about the people that are left? What happens to them. Those are what we call the saints. Now I’ll explain who the saints are in just a minute, but you’ll notice this word “war”? The Greek word there for war is polemos, where we get the word polemical. It’s the opposite of irene, irenic, peaceful. And the devil himself is going to go to work with the saints. You’ll notice here, through the beast… you’ll notice here it says “it was given to him” the beast, “to make war with the saints.” Why does it keep saying “it was given to him”? Because the beast, as we have studied, verse 2, verse 4, is being directly empowered by Satan himself.
So notice what this passage says and what it doesn’t say. “It was also given to him to make war with the” church. Does your Bible say that? It doesn’t say that, does it. It says “It was also given to him the authority and the power to make war with the saints.” You say well who are the saints? The saints are those that have been converted after the church has gone through the evangelistic activity of 144,000 Jewish evangelists. I mean, we already had a description of that, didn’t we, in Revelation 7? God all of a sudden calls and saves and calls these 144,000 Jews, they have to be Jews if words mean anything because they come from the twelve tribes. And they become empowered by God to be God’s special witnesses during this terrible time. And they, in the second half of Revelation seven reap a tremendous evangelistic harvest. In fact their harvest is so big you can’t even count the number of people that’ll be saved during this very difficult time.
And you say well why isn’t God using the church here? I mean, God used the church 2,000 years, why is He using 144,000 Jews? It’s very simple, the church isn’t on the earth, the church is in heaven. The twenty-four elders as we’ve studied are in heaven. The seven lamp stands are in heaven. You remember the structure of the Book of Revelation, the outline? John is told “write the things which you have seen, (part one), the things which are (part two), and the things that will take place after these things (part three). Part one is chapter 1, the vision of the glorified Christ. Part 2 is chapters 2 and 3, the letters to the seven churches. Part 3 is chapters 4 through 22, the futuristic section of the book. You say well, why does all this matter? Do you think it’s a little odd that John in part one and part two uses the word church nineteen times, the Greek word ecclesia? Over and over again when he’s speaking to the church he says “the church” “the church” “the church” all of a sudden you get to the third part of the book and he doesn’t talk about “the church” any more. In fact the word ecclesia doesn’t even show up in the book until just a salutation or a conclusion where John signs off at the end and says preach these things in the churches.
Where is the church? The church is in heaven. You say well wait a minute, aren’t we called saints? I mean, doesn’t saint always mean church? And doesn’t church always mean saints? That’s where you’re wrong. The word “saints” is not a term that is used to exclusively describe the church. In fact, those in Old Testament times were called saints. Psalm 50:5, written a thousand years before the time of Christ, long before the church came into existence, they’re called saints. [Psalm 50:5, “Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” King James Version.] Psalm 149:1, a thousand years before the time of Christ Old Testament saints are called saints. [Psalm 149:1, “Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.” KJV] Just because it says “saints” doesn’t mean that’s the church because “saints” is not a technical word; it’s a broader word. And so the fact that John is no longer using the word “church” but uses the word “saints” to my mind is further proof that the church can’t be on the earth during this particular time.
Now the Book of Daniel, chapter 7 and verse 21, a parallel passage, says this: “I kept looking, and that horn” that’s the beast we’re talking about here, “was waging war with the” church… it doesn’t say that, does it? “…with the saints and overpowering them.” You see the exact same thing here in verse 7, “It was given to him to make war with” not the church, but “with the saints and to overcome them.” It’s describing the antichrist overpowering, overcoming the saints of God in this particular terrible time period.
Didn’t Jesus talk about that relative to the church? Didn’t He say in Matthew 16:18, up north there in Caesarea Philippi one day as he was talking to Peter and the disciples? “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church;” the first reference to the coming church in the Scripture, “and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” In other words, the project of the church is going to be something that Satan himself will never be able to overpower. How could this be a description of the church when we’re specifically told that the beast, Daniel 7:21, Revelation 13:7, is overcoming the saints, overpowering the saints,. [Daniel 7:21, “I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them.” Revelation 13:7, “It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.”]
I mean if this is the church then Christ is not keeping His promise here is He? And it’s interesting when you start to go through the Book of Revelation and the Holy Spirit just starts giving you all these clues as to why this is not dealing with the church at all. You know, John has been very good at saying “church.” He says that nineteen times in the first three chapters; now all of a sudden he’s not saying “church,” he’s saying “saints,” which is not a technical word and sometimes even refers to those prior to the church age in Old Testament times.
So we see this war that the antichrist is running against those that are the converts of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists during this time. And look at the authority of the antichrist and look at how broad it spreads, second half of verse 7, “…and authority… was given to him, authority over” what does it say? “every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.” Now when you start tracking down these four nouns, people, tongue, nation, tribe, and you study every time those four nouns are used together in the Book of Revelation. It refers to something that covers the whole earth. You’ll see the same combination of nouns in Revelation 5:9 concerning those for whom Christ died, which is everybody. [Revelation 5:9, “And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.”]
You’ll see the same combination of nouns in Revelation 7:9, those who become converts of the 144,000. You’ll see the same combination in Revelation 17:15 related to the influence of the harlot, which we haven’t spoken of yet, that will be global in nature. [Revelation 7:9, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands.” Revelation 17:15, And he said to me, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.”]
And when those same four nouns are used here in the Book of Revelation the Holy Spirit is telling us that the empire of the antichrist will cover the whole earth. In fact, Daniel 7:23, of the antichrist’s empire, says, “’The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.” What is in store for the human race following the rapture of the church is the great experiment in one world government. What Nimrod was trying to build at the tower of Babel before God interrupted the project. That project will reach achievement; that project will reach success. And if I’m understanding my Bible right then I’m not shocked by how many people in this world are crying out for a world government.
In fact, here’s a quote from Jean Monet who is the founder of what today is called the European Union, the European Common Market, the Super State in Europe, where nations have sort of lost their currencies and they’re now being governed by some remote city, Luxemburg, Brussels, you know, that’s what the whole Brexit issue was about, the Brits got tired of somebody that they never voted for in Brussels and Luxembourg telling them hot loud their lawnmowers can be. And they had sort of a mini revolt. But this is the whole issue, the trend into globalism. This is the architect of the whole thing. Jean Monet and he died, 1979 and you’ll notice he wrote something in his memoirs 1978, that would be one year before his death, just prior to his death this is what he said. And you go to his death. And you go to his memoirs and you go to the second to last page, and this is what he writes. “The sovereign nations of the past can no longer solve the problems of the present; they cannot ensure their own progress or control their own future…” In other words, he’s got global problems and we need a global solution to fix global problems. That’s why they’re always talking about climate change. People ask me, do you believe in climate change, and I say well, yeah, I believe in the weather if that’s what you’re talking about. But what they’re talking about is what is called anthropogenic climate change, that we blame changes in the weather… by the way, we used to call it global warming, and that’s maybe provable, maybe not, now they just call it climate change which would be a larger umbrella category which would affect everything. Right? Tsunami’s, floods, too much heat, too cool, we’ve got a global problem here, we’ve got a global crisis here. By the way, if you have your kids in public school or your grandkids, or they watch TV they’re being hit with this all the time because the world is being conditioned to accept the global solution, which is always the same, one world government. I asked Curtis Bowers who has come here and taught, I said what’s the end game of this whole thing? It’s very simple he said, it’s a one-world Marxism. It’s a one-world planned economy where your life is micromanaged from cradle to grave. And I said to him, you’re absolutely right because that’s what the Bible predicts. It’s right there in verses 16-18 of Revelation 13 which we haven’t gotten to yet.
And what did Monnet say at the end of his life, “And the European itself is only a stage on the way to the organized world of tomorrow.” The EU is step one, eventually we’re going to reproduce this all over the world, and once we get the world regionalized we’ll get it globalized. I’m telling you folks, that’s exactly what your Bible says will happen, when it talks about a little horn or the beast coming into existence over a ten nation or ten king confederacy that governs the entire earth. You know, it’s too bad I didn’t bring in my slide on this, we’re doing some pastor’s points of view on this subject and I have a slide where the Club of Rome has got the whole world divided up into ten, ten regions. Why not nine? Why not eleven? Why exactly ten? Because this idea of a world government is already etched into the thinking of fallen men. But fortunately there’s one part of this world that the antichrist will not get control over. Do you know what that part is, we’ve studied it already. It’s Petra, where the Jews will flee to and receive security.
Daniel 11:41 says, “He,” that’s the beast, “will also enter the beautiful land” that’s Israel, “and many countries will fall but these will be rescued from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the foremost sons of Ammon.” Where are those places today? That’s modern day Jordan. And I just share that with you that even at the highest of antichrist’s global jurisdiction God still has control of things. And there’s one people group you’re not going to be able to totally eradicate and that’s these fleeing Jews into this wilderness place that we have already studied in Revelation 12; I’ve already given you some reasons why I think this is the place that they were fleeing to, these Jews, is Petra.
So we move away from his global jurisdiction and we move into his unregenerate audience, probably a better name for that is His church. The antichrist has a church with preachers and a choir. I mean, the whole thing is so religious. If you look at verse 8 notice what it says there in Revelation 13:8, “All” all means all, right, “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.” Global worshippers and we know that these global worshipers are unsaved people because their names are not found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
In fact, when you go to Revelation 20:15 it will read as follows. “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” So if we allow Scripture to interpret Scripture when we read about a group of people here whose names are not found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, these are unbelievers during this terrible time period. And what do they do? Do you see the word “worship” there? That’s a really important word because it shows me that the devil is religious. “All who dwell on the earth will worship Him.” Track that word down in Geek, I believe it’s proskynēo [Revelation 13:8, “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.”] It’s always used of people worshipping Christ or God the Father. And here that worship is not being directed towards the true God, it’s being directed towards a false god by unsaved people, unsaved people are having church!
Now this really, to me, becomes somewhat troubling because the church growth experts of the world are telling us that we need to have church for the unchurched. Church for the unsaved. Church for the unregenerate, after all, that’s how to get your church to grow, because there’s more unsaved people than saved people and all you’ve got to do is come up with a marketing mix that appeals to the unsaved, they call them unchurched Harry and Mary, and your church will flood with growth. And guess what folks… it works! I mean, you can attract massive amounts of people, you can even fill stadiums and former athletic coliseums using this approach. This is a big budget issue; this is big money, it’s the church for the unchurched. It’s the church for the unsaved.
You see what’s happening here? The world itself is being prepared to have a worshipful experience and you never have to trust in Christ for personal salvation, you never have to be born again, you never have to be regenerated, but you can be as religious as you want to be. In fact, I believe that every time Oprah Winfrey comes on TV or any kind of media she’s having church. I believe this, and people kind of laugh at me when I say it and they think I’m talking tongue in cheek but I believe this is literally true. I believe Oprah Winfrey is probably the most foremost known spiritual leader in the United States today, if not the world. Because when she is having her show and doing her thing there’s a lot more coming across from her than cooking tips and weight loss tips. In fact, if this person, Oprah Winfrey, this woman touches a book like Rhonda Bernie’s Book, The Secret,” a new age book, completely obscure, unknown, Oprah promotes it, it becomes a runaway best seller.
Oprah Winfrey says this: “One of the mistakes that human beings make is believing there’s only one way.” What do you mean Oprah? You’re getting involved in religion now? That’s a religious statement she just made. She’s making a Christological statement. We don’t accept that there are many diversities ways of being in the world, that there are millions of ways to be a human being. There are many, many paths to what you call God that her path might be something else and when she gets there she might call it The Light, that her loving and her kindness and her generosity brings her to the same point that it brings you to. I want to, when I hear this pull out my sermon note pad there in the bulletin, well, maybe we don’t have sermon note pads in the bulletin, but let’s pretend one is there. [Laughter] I want to start taking notes when I come to church because this is religiosity that is being pedaled. And this is what the world will do at the time of the beast. They’re going to worship him, all the unsaved people.
Well, what about the nonconformist, because earlier we saw there’s saints, right, converted through the ministry of the 144,000. What’s going to happen to them? We have now on the list, number 13, verses 9-10, the oppressive influence of the beast. This is the rest, this is what happens to the people that will not conform to the new world order of the antichrist.
There’s an exhortation given in Revelation 13:9. “If anyone has an ear let him hear.” Verse 10, “…If anyone is destined for captivity to captivity he goes. If anyone is killed with the sword by the sword he must be killed,” the second part of verse 10, “Here is the perseverance and the faith of the” what, “the saints.” It doesn’t say church, it says “the saints.” Do you see something sort of familiar there in verse 9? “If anyone has an ear let him hear.” I remember that somewhere, didn’t you tell us a few minutes ago that the Book of Revelation is divided into three, chapter 1, “write down the things that you have seen,” the vision of the glorified Christ. Chapter 2, the seven letters to the seven churches. Chapter 3, the things that will take place after these things, after the church age is over. Do you remember Revelation 2 and 3? Do you remember how Jesus concluded every letter? He said this no less hand seven times, “If anyone has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
I mean, the sentence here, the statement here, this clause here tells exactly the same as the sevenfold repetition that I just mentioned; it just cut out the word churches. Why would he leave out the word churches when it says seven times earlier, “To him who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” I have an answer… the church is not on the church is in heaven. I mean, if the church were on the earth surely it would take the same sevenfold statement and would repeat it verbatim but you’ll notice here that it does not.
Let me show you something else very interesting. Back in Matthew 13:9 Jesus said this: “He who has an ear let him hear” and He too cut off from this verse the expression, “what the Spirit says to the churches.” This is the statement made by Christ before the church existed. What we have here is a statement made by John through the Holy Spirit after the church is gone. That’s why it says, “To him who has an ear let him hear” and leaves out the clause because that statement was made prior to Acts 2, prior to the birthday of the church. John here is seeing what is going to happen to people after the church age is over.
Why is he telling all this? Because this world and the evangelical church as a whole has never seemed more confused over doctrines that prior generations accepted and took for granted. I have never seen the level of confusion that’s being introduced to people, largely because of the advent of the internet, with confused ideas in their minds about all of these things related to prophecy, thinking that the church is somehow here because it says “saints.” And unless you have someone authoritatively standing up and saying “Thus saith the Lord,” those doctrines are wrong. The doctrine that we’re preaching here at Sugar Land Bible Church is right, unless someone authoritatively stands up and tells you the truth what’s going to happen? You’re just going to drift into confusion.
People say we just shouldn’t get into Bible prophecy because all the weirdos and nut jobs are into Bible prophecy. To that statement I would concur. There are some people (to me) that look borderline psychologically in balanced talking today about Bible prophecy. But that should be more of an incentive to teach it right because if someone is not up here teaching it to you right you’re going to be sucked into what is wrong. And the function of a pastor-teacher is to direct you back to the Word of God, not just on prophecy but on every single thing the Bible speaks on and reveals.
You’ll notice verse 10 again, “If anyone is destined for captivity to captivity he goes. If anyone is killed with the sword by the sword he must be killed,” Here is perseverance and the faith of the saints. Here we have an exhortation to the non-cooperative people that get saved in the tribulation period and won’t cooperate with the universal religion of the antichrist. What are they supposed to do: They’re given an exhortation by God, listen up, verse 9. He’s not talking to the church for reasons I’ve already articulated.
And then he says you know what? During this time some of you are going to go into captivity, some of you are going to be killed with the sword. Now this is a problem with spending too much time on the internet. Just this week I saw a news story of something taking place in a foreign government where people are sent to the homes of suspect people under the guise of a home visitation from the state. And this particular article went on and discovered that one of the questions that was being asked is “what do you think of the current President of the United States?” Think about that for a minute. How is that the state’s business on any political issue? And yet in foreign countries that kind of thing is becoming the norm. The framework is already in place for the widespread persecution of the church. Maybe that persecution starts before the church is removed. You know our brothers and sisters around the world, many of them are being killed right now. But when it reaches its zenith the church will not be here and these home visitations from the state, things of this nature are simply putting a legal pretense in place.
You say well pastor, you sound like a conspiracy theorist. I mean, today you’re kind of sounding like Alex Jones info [can’t understand word]. By the way, I don’t endorse the teaching of Alex Jones because Alex Jones attaches the rapture all of the time. Do you know why he attacks the rapture all of the time? He sells survivalist gear. And you’ll also notice Jim Baker, on his TV shows criticizing the rapture and then he puts up all of the sales at the end for survival gear, he wants people to arm up and get ready to eyeball it with the antichrist. By the way, having a firearm and having a little bit of extra food around the house is not necessarily a bad thing to do. I do those kinds of things, it just has nothing to do with my eschatological position; it has nothing to do with the fact that I think I’m going to eyeball it with the antichrist the way Alex Jones teaches it and the way Jim Baker teaches it.
It’s going to be difficult for people living on the earth at this time, they’re going to need perseverance. What does that mean? Bearing up under a difficult road. They’re going to need faith it says, verse 10. What is faith? Confidence in the promises and purposes of God; that’s the exhortation for the rest, the non-cooperative ones during this very difficult time.
Now there’s a parallel passage in Matthew 24:13. It says, “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” What is that talking about? It’s talking about how life is going to get tough in the tribulation period. And if you’re fortunate enough to make it through to the end, that’s what “the end” means there, you will be physically protected by Jesus Christ who returns to the earth. That’s what “saved” means here. It means physical protection from the antichrist if you make it to the end and you’re physically protected as a result.
This verse, and these verses in verses 9 and 10 have nothing, NOTHING to do with the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. You say well what is that? The perseverance of the saints is this idea that if you don’t persevere in good works until the end of your life Arminians say you lost your salvation, Calvinists say you never had it to begin with… perseverance of the saints. Here at Sugar Land Bible Church we do not teach perseverance of the saints. What we teach is the preservation of the saints. In other words, if a person has trusted in Christ God is the one who keeps them in terms of their eternal security and their eternal destiny. But that’s not what Calvinists believe by it and that’s not what Arminians believe by it. They think you’d better make it to the end in good works because if you don’t have good works you don’t have evidence you were saved, Calvin, or maybe you lost your salvation, Arminians.
And those that teach the perseverance of the saints go to passages like this, verse 10 and verse 13 to prove their doctrine. Why do they do that? Why do they take verses out of context? Because they don’t have another verse that teaches what they want it to say. So you’re forced to these weird passages that are eschatological in nature, dealing with a specific group of people, living at a specific point in time and you build a doctrine around it—perseverance of the saints! Do people really teach this? John Murray, “A crucial test of true faith is endurance to the end, abiding in Christ and continuance in the Word. He cannot abandon himself to sin, he cannot come under the domination of sin, he cannot be guilty of certain kinds of unfaithfulness…. Let us appreciate the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints and recognize that we may entertain the faith of our security in Christ only as we persevere in faith and holiness to the end.” [John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied, pp. 152, 154-55.]
He’s not frontloading the gospel, he’s back loading it. Frontloading it is saying do this work and this work and this work to be justified, back loading it is saying do this work and this work and this work to prove you’re justified. Perseverance of the saints. By the way, how could you ever know if you’re persevering enough? I mean, maybe this last week I had one wicked thought that came into my mind. The next week I might have three, I probably have a few more than that. Maybe last week I helped one old lady across the street, this week I helped out three. I mean, am I somehow more saved this week than I was last week, or vice versa? And this is what happens when Christians buy into the perseverance of the saints, they start to doubt whether they were ever saved. If they’re under Calvinism maybe I never was saved. If they’re under Arminianism maybe I lost my salvation.
Arthur Pink, a very strong Calvinist. Readers (Christians) if there is a reserve in your obedience you’re on your way to hell. Oh my goodness, you mean Arthur you actually unleashed that statement on the body of Christ? Any reserve in your obedience? Any struggle at all in your life? Maybe you’re not saved. John Piper, “No Christian can be sure that he is a true believer, hence there is an ongoing need to be dedicated to the Lord and to deny ourselves so that we might make it.” You know, I think a statement like that sounds more like Islam than it does Christianity, where the Muslim gets to the end of their life and if the good deeds outweigh the bad deeds maybe they made it in—perseverance of the saints!
John MacArthur, “If a person fails to love and obey the Lord through the trials of life, then there is no evidence that he possesses saving faith. How many people do you know who came to church for a while, had a little trouble in their lives, and left?” I have. There have been times in my Christian life where I’ve been so disappointed with God that I’ve shut myself down to Christianity. Now does that mean that somehow I was never saved to begin with? That is NOT what it means because my salvation never depended upon me to begin with. See that. Although they made a profession of faith in Christ they cannot be identified as those who love Him because their lives are not characterized by enduring obedience. But Pastor, you’re trashing good works that Christians do? No I’m not! I think we ought to be people of good works. I think we ought to be people for prayer. I think we ought to be people of holiness. And I will preach that until my dying day in terms of our growth in Christ.
But here’s the reason, folks. I don’t do those things because I think I’m keeping myself saved. I’m going those things because I cannot believe what the Lord has given to me. I look at grace and I’m just stunned by it. So my reasonable activity, Romans 12, is to offer my body as a living sacrifice. That’s what’s reasonable. I don’t do it because I’m always living in fear that some- how God is going to rip the carpet out from under me which is where many Christians are today because they’re mistaught. And they’re given over and over again verses, like what we’re studying here, out of context to support some doctrine in the Bible that the Bible never teaches.
Bob Wilken writes, concerning R. C. Sproul, “During the first message presented at Ligonier’s Conference in Orlando last June, Dr. R. C. Sproul indicated that Dr. James Boyce, a scheduled speaker at the conference, was dying in faith that very night. Then at the end of the message he asked all 5,000 of us present to pray that Jim dies in faith. This struck me as sad. Here was a great pastor, theologian, teacher, and author. Yet Sproul was not sure that he was regenerate. (In Reformed thought, if a person fails to die in faith, he proved he was never saved in the first place.) I was reminded of R.T. Kendall’s remark that nearly to a man the Puritan divines died doubting whether they were saved and fearing they were going to hell. Dr. Boyce died that very night, June 15th.”
During the first message presented at Ligonier’s Conference in Orlando last June, Dr. R. C. Sproul indicated that Dr. James Boyce, a scheduled speaker at the conference, was dying in faith that very night.” I happen to have James Boyce’s commentaries, There’s no doubt in my mind that he was saved. “Then at the end of the message he” that’s Sproul, “asked all 5,000 of us present to pray that Jim dies in faith. This struck me as sad,” Bob Wilkin writes. “Here was a great pastor, a theologian, a teacher, and an author yet Sproul was not sure that he was regenerate. (In Reformed thought, if a person fails to die in the faith, he proved he was never saved in the first place.)” Calvinism! “I was reminded” watch this, you don’t think this is practical? “I was reminded of R.T. Kendall’s remark that merely to a man the Puritans” heavily Calvinistic, “died doubting whether they were saved and fearing they were going to hell.” Wilkin writes “Dr. Boyce died that very night.” [http///www.gracebiblestudies, org/Resources/Web/www Duluth Bible.org/g f_/EternalSecurity12.htm]
And just when you think, I mean, are you one of these types of people that doesn’t really know if they’re saved and you have to persevere in good works so at the end of your life, which by the way what kind of standard is that? It doesn’t look very objective to me to prove I’m a Christian to begin with. I mean, if that’s what you believe you will never know you’re saved. And you, as a Christian, will be living beneath your privileges because what saith the Word of God? By the say, before we get to the Word of God, which I’ll do very quickly, where does this teaching come from? It’s Roman Catholic. What is certain strands of Calvinism is nothing more than repackaged Roman Catholicism for Protestant consumption.
One leader of the Roman Catholic Church says, “Church teaching is that I don’t know at any given moment what my eternal future will be. I can hope and pray and do my very best but I still don’t know.” Pope John II doesn’t know absolutely that he’ll go to heaven. Nor does Mother Theresa of Calcutta unless either has had a special divine revelation. This is Roman Catholicism. This is what keeps people in a state of fear, not knowing whether they’re Christians or not. Do you want to know what Jesus says? What John are you impressed by? John Piper, John MacArthur, or the Apostle John? Jesus records the words recorded by the Apostle John, [John 5:24] “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes him who sent me has eternal life….” as long as he makes it to the end and the good works… it doesn’t say that! “…has” is present tense possession, “and does not come into judgement but he has passed out of” perfect tense, one time action in the past with ongoing results, “does not come into judgment but has passed out of death unto life.”
You can take that one to the bank! Why is that? Because it emanates from the lips of God who cannot lie. He has made you a promise that the moment you placed your trust in Him you have eternal life and you’ve already passed out of death unto life. You don’t have to go through your life worried if you’ve done enough to prove you’re a Christian.
1 John 5:13, John says, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may” 99% know…. Kind of like the weather report, maybe it’s going to rain, maybe it’s not, picking petals off the rose, she loves me—she loves me not. That’s how a lot of people are in their relationship with God. If that’s the way you think you’re living beneath your privileges. “…so that you may know that you have eternal life.” And so the saints here, not the church, are called to persevere to the end of the tribulation period with the hopes that they will be rescued by Jesus Christ from the antichrist.
Verse 10 is not teaching the perseverance of the saints, nor is Matthew 24:13, nor is any biblical text that I’m aware of. Theologians and different pastors and the commentators will constantly put you in a state of fear unless you’ve got this one figured out. You’d better get this one figured out. I’m not just talking about eternal security, there’s a lot of people that will preach eternal security, but then they’ll turn around and say maybe you have it, maybe you don’t. You see beloved, at Sugar Land Bible Church we preach eternal security but we take it to the next step and we preach the assurance of salvation! Why? Because we’re arrogant and boastful? NO! Because we’re reading promises from a God that can’t lie. Your salvation has nothing to do with your good works to begin with, nor do good works somehow keep you safe.
You know the folks that think they can lose their salvation? I usually say oh, so you’re your own savior then, huh? They say what do you mean by that? Well, folks that think you can lose your salvation say well, you can’t commit that sin or that sin or that sin or that sin, if you do those sins you’re not a Christian. Oh, I see, so your salvation is dependent upon your own ability to stay away from certain things. That’s not front loading the gospel with works, that’s back loading the gospel with works.
And I bring that up because these are common verses that are used to teach doctrines that have absolutely nothing to do with what the context is saying. The context here is speaking of saints being physically preserved from martyrdom during the tribulation period with the hopes of being protected physically by Jesus Christ, the rider on the white horse who will shield them from the beast and so the world is going to get very tough for people. While the unsaved world is worshipping the antichrist the saved world in this time period has a mark on their hands, better said not a mark on their hands, a mark on their life, as Satan is trying to eliminate them and eradicate them!
What about all this stuff about the mark on your hand and your forehead? Well, we’ll learn about that next time. But I can’t think of a better way or an [can’t understand word] to preach the gospel, can you? I mean, how would you like to leave here today understanding the doctrine of eternal security and also understanding the doctrine of the assurance of salvation, not only that your soul is saved but you can know it with 100% ironclad accuracy. How do you get that? You get it from Jesus who made you a promise, John 5:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he why hears My word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come into judgment but has passed out of death unto life.” You simply fulfill your condition which is to believe.
You say well what does that mean? It means to trust, it means to rely upon. It’s not a matter of joining a church, walking an aisle, giving money, filling out a card, it’s when the Holy Spirit convicts you of your need to trust Christ for salvation, and you place your personal faith in Christ, then on the authority of God’s Word what’s happened to you is not you’re going to get eternal life, you HAVE it! And something positionally has already happened to you where you have been transferred already out of death unto life. That’s your new position. Now how you live is really up to you, you can live your life believing this, I am. You can live your life under a state of unnecessary fear that maybe I don’t have it because my works aren’t enough. So our invitation to you at Sugar Land Bible Church is to believe the gospel. If it’s something you need more explanation on I’m available after the service to talk. Shall we pray.
Father, we’re grateful for Revelation 13, we’re grateful for the opportunity to put it into context, not only to show us which direction the world is moving in but also to steer us away from bad doctrine and bad theology unsupported by Your Word. We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, and God’s people said…. Amen!