The Antichrist: The Great Imitator

Introduction

  • Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
  • The Antichrist is an imitation of Jesus Christ.  As a matter of fact, his imitation of Christ serves to reveal even more plainly who Jesus is.
  1. Jesus is a marvel—the Antichrist will be too.
  • The sea symbolizes the realm of evil; always has for the Jews.  They had hundreds of miles of coastline on the Mediterranean Sea which opened them up to constant attack.  The Philistines, their bitter enemies, were “people of the sea” who came from Greece when the Greek dynasty fell apart around 1200 BC.  Even as John is on the coast of Asia Minor watching this, the Romans are moving across the Mediterranean Sea toward Jerusalem.
  • Ten horns and seven heads– In Daniel 7 the four beasts and the ten kings portray nations who attack and persecute Israel.
  • unified with the dragon and yet has a separate role.  The dragon usurps the role of God, the beast usurps the role of Christ.  With the false prophet, the 3 becomes the false trinity in 16:13
    • And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, tree unclean spirits like frogs.  Revelation 16:13
  • These build on the four beasts of Daniel 7:4-7, in which four successive empires are prophesied as resembling a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a beast with iron teeth and ten horns.  The main difference with Daniel 7 is that there the four beasts are consecutive empires while here they describe one being.  In short this beast is a composite of all the beasts or empires throughout human history that have stood against god and his people.
    • And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another.  The first was like a lion and had eagles’ wings…And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear…After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard…after this I looked and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong.  Daniel 7:3-7 (parts)
  • Gave his power—Satan, trying to emulate God, gave the beast his power.   The strength to accomplish miracles and perform mighty deeds in the eyes of the world.  And his throne—his dominion; And his great authority—Satan delegates authority to the beast
  • One of his heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.  (13:3)
    • Revelation 12:17  Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
    • Genesis 3:15  I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
  • The temporary healing of the mortal wound produced marvel and wonder.  Jesus was permanently raised from the dead, after his death on the cross, never to die again.
    • We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over himRomans 6:9

II.         Jesus is worshiped—the Antichrist will be too.

  • They worshiped the dragon because of the beast…and worshiped the beast too…just as we today worship God through Jesus and worship Jesus, too.
    • This gives great credibility to the truth that Jesus is God.
    • Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father.  Philippians 2:9-11
  • Was given—divine passive; though the beast clearly thinks he is in control, God is allowing his blasphemous speech
  • Uttering haughty and blasphemous words
    • Against God
      • And the king shall do as he wills.  He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods.  Daniel 11:36
      • Let no one deceive you in any way.  For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.  2 Thessalonians 2:4
    • Against God’s name
    • Against God’s dwelling—his people in heaven

III. Jesus died for his followers, the Antichrist’s followers will die for him

  • It was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them.  13:7
  • The irony is that the saints ultimately conquer Satan by their very martyrdom.  Revelation 12:11, “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.”
  • And all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slainRevelation 13:8
  • The cross made the book of life possible, for it was the slain Lamb that became the sacrifice for sin and enabled the people of God to have “life.”  Thus the final victory does not belong to Armageddon or the final battle of 20:7-10.  Those are simply the last acts of defiance by an already defeated enemy.

Conclusion

If anyone has an ear, let him hear.  If there is anything in this message that resonates with you, don’t ignore it.

If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain.

If it is God’s will for anyone to be taken captive, then he will be taken captive.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sakeMatthew 24:9

 Here is the call for the endurance and faith of the saints. 

  • The saints in John’s day…Rome was coming fast and furiously across the Mediterranean.
  • You and me…
  • The saints in the Tribulation