Stand Against These Four End Times Evils

With current events as they are, we will have to give attention to what a person should do in regard to end time events. Even if the end of the Gentile Age is over a century away it is still good to know, and put into practice, the things that make a true disciple in Christ strong against the various forces of darkness.
Stand Against These Four End Times Evils
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2016 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

Many are interested in end time events, and rightfully so. However, it is always good to keep in mind that one’s personal end might occur before the end of the end times we are about to mention. Either way, the forces of darkness would like to keep their slaves away from God, and would try to have those who trust in God defect from the Truth. 

In this message we will be briefly looking at four entities of the end times, some of the evil influences they present, and what appropriate steps a Christian should take. "Times" in the title is

plural because we are dealing with at least three aspects of time that occur relative to the final set of seven years dealing with God's judgment upon Israel as mentioned in Daniel 9:20-27. Those aspects of time include the end of the Church Age, the end of the Gentile Age, and "the time of Jacob's trouble" which might be better known as the Great Tribulation. By "end times" in this message we do not mean the future complete destruction of the earth, but mainly the end of the Gentile Age which will conclude with Armageddon. 

We can only make mostly generalizations at this point because the nature of futuristic Holy Bible prophecy is that God gives us just enough information for us to be aware, be awake, and be ready, but not enough to pinpoint certain aspects--so that these things might come as a snare upon those who reject Christ.

We will be briefly looking at the terms antichrist, the man of sin (son of perdition), the Beast, and the False Prophet of Revelation 13, but more so what our godly responses should be to these. While the "antichrist," "man of sin," and "the Beast" might mean the same person or entity, for our purposes we will look at them separately and present godly responses for each of the four aspects.

I. Antichrist 

1 John 2:18, 2:22-23, 4:3 and 2 John v.7

The term occurs only five times and only in the references listed immediately above. "Antichrist" is often associated with the Beast of Revelation 13, but notice in 1 John 2:18 there are many antichrists: "Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour."

A key evil that the antichrists present is the denial of the Father and Son (vv. 22-23): "Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23    Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also." In the light of the context comprising the entire epistle, this is dealing with not only vocally denying the Father and Son, but denying them by action.

God through the Son veiled Himself of our flesh so that the righteous acts of Jesus might become ours upon receiving Christ into our heart. Jesus, though God in flesh, chose not to use His prerogatives of deity but depended upon the Father for direction and strength just like we are supposed to do. So, when Christ dwells within we have the ability to do the will of God. A true son obeys his father. A true son is like his father. If we purposely and continually fail to behave in such a manner then we have denied both the Father and Son.

Another evil antichrists do is to deny that Christ has come in the flesh (1 John 4:2-3): "By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world." While as directed by the Holy Spirit the Apostle John predominately had in mind gnostic blasphemies of Christ, we may apply this devotionally in regard to holiness.

It is written in 1John 3:8, "The one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil." Cheap grace and unbalanced teaching on the love of God teaches one can be born again but can keep on sinning. There are a host of Holy Scriptures that show the opposite.

We are to stand against antichrists and the spirit of antichrist as follows:

I John 2:24 to 29 lays out part of the godly stand we should take against antichrists: "As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life. 26 These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. 27 As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. 28 Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him."

Verses 24 and 28 exhort those in Christ to dwell in Him and let Christ dwell within them. This means continuous dedication and devotion to Him. Verse 25 echoes the same command as given by Christ in regard to being deceived (Matthew 24:4-5). Along with having Christ dwelling within, knowing the written Word of God helps to prevent someone from being deceived.

Christ dwells within a true believer by the Holy Spirit. This is described in verse 27 as "As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him." Comparing John 16:13-14 we read, "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you."

Verse 29 speaks to us that the true disciple by the grace of God must be devout internally and externally. The whole counsel of Holy Scripture would have us know that  when this verse says "practices righteousness" it means while being in Christ, because apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).

II. The Man Of Sin  

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 (Weymouth) "Let no one in any way deceive you, for that day cannot come without the coming of the apostasy first, and the appearing of the man of sin, the son of perdition, who sets himself against, 4  and exalts himself above, every so-called ‘god’ or object of worship, and goes the length of taking his seat in the very temple of God, giving it out that he himself is God."

Verse 1 of 2 Thessalonians 2 shows that "that day" refers to "the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him." (KJV) Some in the Church of Thessalonica had heard a rumor that Christ had already returned and they missed it! By the Holy Spirit Paul tells them that an apostasy must occur first that the man of sin might be revealed.

Along with the balance of the passage and other Holy Scriptures it appears to indicate that someone who says they are a Christian will defect from Christ, along with others, and then proceed to sit in the Temple and claim to be God. They may even be considered to be Messiah (Christ) by some Jews, especially if their blood can be traced to the Davidic line.

This evil person is called "the man of sin" which would match the nature of an antichrist because they will deny Christ by their lifestyle. The other term, son of perdition, means {1} son of destruction. This person is of the same satanic {2} temperament as mentioned by Christ in John 10:10a, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy."

We should prepare ourselves by . . .

True Christians are to presently take a holy stand by being like Christ and have Him through us fulfill the other part of John 10:10, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." Though God will definitely bring judgment, for now, at the time of this writing, He mercifully offers His salvation through Christ. Many a Muslim have forsaken Islam for Christ because they see within Him the true nature of God that wants to give life.

Ephesians 5:8 shows that instead of being a man or woman of sin we are to be children of God walking in holiness. In fact, as we read further (Ephesians 5:11) we see we need to ". . . not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; . . .". By the way, the Greek word chosen by the Holy Spirit for "expose" carries the idea of shaming.

Also, while the man of sin will desire to sit in the Temple as God, we must presently and continuously take a stand by keeping ourselves off of the throne of our heart and have Christ be there instead (Ephesians 3:17). And, looping back to the last part of John 10:10, instead of being destructive, Ephesians 5:9-10 teaches that we are to be fostering spiritual growth.

III. The Beast

Revelation 13

At the time of writing this article (end of December 2016) the Beast has not been exposed where he, she, or it is immediately recognizable as such. A brief account of him is given in Daniel 7:8-11, but Revelation 13 gives more description of his manner and rule on earth.

Some of the wording of Revelation 13 and other Holy Scriptures gives the impression the Beast is a group of nations or some type of a political system, but other verses seem to point to an individual. Most likely both concepts are true.

Verse 1 of Revelation 13 displays the Beast rising up out of the sea while the dragon (satan) is upon the seashore. The sea speaks of the realm of humanity. The seven heads of the Beast might indicate a group of nations or a political system. But the passage then goes on to speak of the healing of one of the heads that had a mortal wound. Some feel the Roman Emperor Nero will be


raised from the dead. 

The following is conjecture, only conjecture, but I present it because some minds need to be stretched and others to be more alert. While rising up from the sea definitely refers to the Beast coming from the realm of humanity, what if something very literal will happen? Imagine Osama Bin Laden, who was mortally shot in the head and buried in the sea, showing up somewhere alive and then taking the course of action we see in Revelation 13.

Such things are possible. However there is no need to focus upon who, but there is a need to focus upon how we should prepare now, and we will present that after we note a few more things regarding the Beast. Whoever or whatever the Beast is the world will marvel at the Beast and worship the dragon (satan) that gave authority to the beast. While there are some that do have churches of satan, worship of satan is really universal because if one is not a true worshiper of God then they are worshiping satan. There is really no in between. The world also worships the Beast  saying (v.4), "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"

We must prepare now by . . .

Satan wanted even Jesus to worship him! Continuously we must be like Jesus who said to him (Matthew 4:10a-b), "Go, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship YHVH your God, . . .'”. While the Beast and his image are worshiped by the unsaved in Revelation 13, Revelation 22:9 affirms the fact that we are to worship only God. There, by the Holy Spirit, John says he bowed before the angel that showed him things as recorded in Revelation but the angel told him not to do it.

There is also idol worship, which can be also thought of as worshiping anyone else or anything else instead of, or along with, God. Throughout the Word of God we are commanded not to have idols. We are to love God more than anyone or anything else. 

We should be worshiping God continuously, not just when the church doors are open. This can be, and should be, done throughout the day in your heart and mind. Of course, there should be special times set aside, and opportunities sought, to have a time of focused worship. Consider Revelation 5:11-12, “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, 12 saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing."”

Similar to worship is praise. Unlike the Beast who blasphemes God, the praise of God should be continually in our mouth (Psalm 34:1, 71:6, and Hebrews 13:5). It is good not to complain about God, what He does (or does not do), and how He does things. We are to trust Him no matter what.

IV. The False Prophet

Revelation 13:11-18

Like antichrists there are a lot of false prophets. Prophecy, in a broad sense, is proclaiming the will of God. It often does touch upon the future. And, in a broad sense, a prophet is anyone that claims to speak on behalf of God or speaks (purposely or not on purpose) of God and the things of God in a way to influence others. For example, a TV personality might say “all religions lead to the same God." That, of course, is contrary to what Christ said (John 14:6) and therefore it is false and the prophet who said it is false.

Today the world abounds with false prophets, but there will be the main one of Revelation 13. It appears that his words will appeal to the sensual side of people, for verse 11 records, "Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon." The two horns of a lamb indicate that most likely he will act like the Jesus most people think of as Jesus, (tolerant of sin, never judgmental, etc.), but will speak contrary to the actual Word of God. He will deceive the world with signs and miracles. Under the threat of death he causes people to worship the Beast or the image of the Beast. He also causes everyone to receive a mark so they can buy or sell.

We must prepare ourselves by being . . .

Foundationally we should be spiritual, not sensual (Romans 8, Galatians 5:16-26), and as such we will be very much in tune with the one true God and His will. This begins with us knowing God through His Son Jesus, personally knowing His voice to our hearts {3} and knowing His written Word. We must know the written Word of God. We should read all of it. We should study it and put into practice. If we do not, we will be vulnerable to deception.

When we read and study the written Word of God we will soon realize there can be many false prophets. They certainly abound today and proclaim an unbalance view of the Word of God. Be wary of those who emphasize the love of God and hardly mention His holiness, have little mention of sin and judgment, preach material prosperity, and go off on tangents like being baptized only in the Name of Jesus (see Matthew 28:19), insist on having human spiritual fathers, disregard the wisdom and sovereignty of God when it comes to physical healing, make any vocal prophecy or vision equal to or superseding the written Word of God, and so on.

All Christians must be aware there can be false wonders. It appears to me there are many that do not realize this. We should not be after signs or wonders anyway. Instead, we are to have our hearts steadfast upon Christ and not be amused with wonders, miracles, signs, or claims of apostleship and more.

Many are rightfully concerned about the mark of the Beast. However, if one craves material things, or craves power, they already have the mark in their hearts. Sometimes people fall into the trap of getting government assistance. Be very careful. I have seen people who, because of mental issues, went to the government for help and now they are hooked on the money and drugs the government doles out. Learn to trust God alone.

Another danger is being overly devoted to a denomination or fellowship. For years the first lesson I have taught new converts to Christ is that they are to be loyal only to Jesus Christ. In 2001 the Assemblies of God made a change in their by-laws regarding the divorced and remarried {4} applying for credentials. I wondered if any of the supposedly Biblically conservative officials that were district secretaries would resign their posts but to my dismay I heard of none. However, I rejoiced years later when many true Christians in the secular realm took a stand against the Supreme Court’s decision on homosexual marriage and refused to issue marriage certificates or took other Biblical measures. God bless them for taking a stand.

Being attached to material things, human government, and in many cases religious groups, and anything similar will make a person a servant to them. It is to be remembered that satan is currently the ruler of the earthly realm, so attachment to anything but God and what He ordains is servitude to darkness. The rest of Jesus' response to satan as recorded in Matthew 4:10 . . . YHVH your God, . . . Him only you shall serve."

Godly Focus

Do not focus upon the antichrist, the man of sin, the Beast or the false prophet, but steadfastly focus upon Christ, His commands and blessings. Christ Himself said (Matthew 6:33), "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

Things will be stirred up as we near closer to the Great Tribulation and the end of the Gentile Age. If one has Christ as Savior and King they will have the ability to make it spiritually through. With that, let us keep these words of Christ in mind from Luke 21:19, "By your patience possess your souls."

Notes:

{1} From an electronic version of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong incorporated in the Online Bible program, and so throughout the article whenever the ancient language is referred to and no other authority is cited.

{2} Not capitalized on purpose. Experts Column gives me the freedom to express myself in that way.

{3} Please read To Hear The Voice of God at http://holybibletreasures.expertscolumn.com/article/hear-voice-god .

{4} For the Holy Biblical truth on these matters please see The Marriage Pages at http://oasisofhope.neocities.org/ma00.html .

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by January 31, 2017 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M435 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Posted on 01-01-2017 52 2

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  • nbillett  17-01-2017
    God gives us an amazing range of freedom. We are free to choose what we will say, and when and how we say it. And we are always free to ask Him for wisdom.
    reply 0
  • Tabu  02-01-2017
    This is lovely and challenging. Thank Sir
    reply 0
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