Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Antichrist Appears

   Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.
   Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.
   And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.
  So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”

    John was watching another "video", and the scene he was seeing made it appear to him as though he was standing on the shore of The Mediterranean Sea.  It was mentioned before that symbolically "sea" represents hordes of people.  Out of that horde of people one stood above all the others, he is known as the beast.  He will be the ruler over seven kingdoms.  In all he will have subdued ten countries.  Concerning the phrase, on his heads (he had) a blasphemous name, Concordia writes, the title favoured by Domitian (for himself, was) “Lord and God” We, of course, are still expecting a blasphemous ruler in the future, we do not look for him in history.

In studying this section of The Apocalypse, it is of utmost importance to keep in mind, the difference between the Dragon, the beast and the false prophet. 

The Dragon is Satan. 
The First Beast (a beast of a man) is the world’s last great political leader, known as the Antichrist;
The Second Beast is the False Prophet, and he is, many say, the last head of the World church.  It does seem strange that the leader of the world church would get such an important role at the end of time, when we consider the small impact that Christianity is having in the affairs of Europe and the Eastern countries, and especially in the “Arab world”.

Dr.  McGee  seems  to  have  overlooked  13:3 in his studies.  He writes, Who is he? Whom were we last talking about in the previous chapter?  He is the same person, and that, of course, is Satan.  However, 13:3 distinctly says, The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.  Therefore, the word, him, cannot refer to the dragon, but rather to the Beast, who is known as the Antichrist, and he was mentioned, in 13:1.  He is the one to whom the power was given by Satan.  Here, Concordia deserves to be quoted.  As  Satan  is  anti-God,  so he has his  anti-Christ, a world power in which his opposition to God becomes incarnate (the first beast). As the Holy Spirit witnesses to Christ and glorifies Him, so there is a satanic anti-Spirit to witness to the Antichrist and to glorify him.

I stood, has been rewritten by Wuest, the American Standard and the Living Bible as, he stood.  Furthermore, Wuest, The Living Bible and The Jerusalem Bible have moved this phrase to become the last words of 12:17.  This seems like a good choice, for it is illogical that John would be the one who was chosen to meet the beast.

I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, presumably to meet the red dragon, which was standing on the shore, if we read this as, he stood upon the sand of the sea.

There are those who say that the beast is the pope, and that the deadly wound happened when the pope of the Roman church was carried into exile to Avignon, in 1798, at a great loss to the Roman church.  However, the wound healed and the Roman church regained its power.  In stating his views, Mr. Jim Crews, of The Seventh Day Adventists, makes a poignant case in, The Beast, the Antichrist and the Woman.  However, it seems that there may be other explanations, which may be even more logical. 

    I believe that the beast is the last political force that will fight against Christ and His army.  The beast's followers say, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”   The false prophet is the last church leader, the one who endorses the last wicked theological position attested to by the last unified church; a church that would include Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, and any other body that would care to join?  We see the modern church going that way now.  Important doctrines that the Bible teaches and The Church has held dear are being swept aside in the name of universal peace.  Christ said that He did not come to bring peace, but a sword.  Why, than, is the church destroying itself in the name of peace?  

John wrote, So they worshiped the dragon.  As Christians keep on slipping deeper and deeper into tepidity and immorality, Satan worship will keep on getting worse.  It is already prevalent in North America, and I predict that it will get worse.  

The world worshipped the beast saying that he is the greatest and that there is no one that could fight him. 13:4.    Doubtless, there are those that would dare take up arms against the Lord of Hosts, saying, Who is like the beast?  Who is able to make war with him."  Those that do, will be destroyed.  

There will be more on this topic in the next post.

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