FoundationsForGrowing

The End Times: Part VI

by Joanna Pierce on June 09, 2016

Last week, our study of the Book of Revelation and the End Times overviewed what will happen to the church after the rapture—our physical appearance/capabilities and our judgment before Jesus Christ. This week, we will talk about the 2 beasts John sees in the last days, the abomination of desolation, and battle of Armageddon.

First Beast—The Antichrist

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority (Revelation 13:1–2, KJV).

John describes the first beast in Revelation 13. The first beast is referencing the Antichrist as well as the government he will create. From this figurative language/imagery, we can discern the Antichrist will have power and authority, and will gather 10 nations together, leading to a one-world government.

The animal descriptions represents the nations that will be brought together under this governmental structure. Many theologians have tried to identify these nations, but regardless of the nation, we know these future nations will be under one rule of the Antichrist.

The Antichrist will lead people to worship Satan and will delude people into thinking they are not in a time of God’s wrath (Revelation 13:3–4). For the first half of tribulation, the Antichrist will be consolidating his power into a one-world government, but during the last half, he will be exercising his power. It is during this time, he will “make war with the saints” (Revelation 13:7–10).

Second Beast—The False Prophet

And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed (Revelation 13:11–12, KJV).

After the first beast (Antichrist) creates a one-world power, the false prophet will rise to create a religious system. He will be able to demonstrate supernatural powers and perpetuate the agenda of idol worship (Revelation 13:13–14). Continual miracles will be performed during this time to try to “explain away” the wrath of God (Revelation 13:15). Whether by economic drive or supernatural workings, people will be convinced to worship the devil.

It is this figure who will cause all to receive a mark in their right hand or their forehead. All who buy and sell will need to have this mark (Revelation 13:16–18). We don’t know what this mark is today, but we do know technology will play a huge part in bringing this to fruition.

Abomination of Desolation

During the first 3.5 years of the tribulation, the Antichrist will make a covenant with the Jews. After gaining their trust, he will set up the abomination of desolation in the temple; he will defy the temple the Jews use to worship God (Daniel 9:27). Jesus even warns us that we will see the abomination in the holy place (Matthew 24:15)—all that has been prophesied will happen.

However, during the second 3.5 years, the Antichrist will set himself up and the one-world government to destroy God’s chosen people. The one-world system will persecute the Jews (Revelation 17:4–6). Once the system has fulfilled its goal in global Satan-worship, the system will be destroyed (Revelation 17:17–18).

Battle of Armageddon

Revelation 18 marks events leading up to the battle of Armageddon. The world’s epicenter of economic activity and power will be torn down (Revelation 18:1–4), and such destruction will culmination in the last battle—the Antichrist, economic system, false prophet, religious system, etc. will all be destroyed.

Demonic spirits will gather all to the valley of Megiddo (Armageddon), a place strategically placed between mountain ranges, which will be the best place to fight Israel (Revelation 16:13–14). When the world comes against Israel, Jesus will return to the earth (Acts 1:11) and fight for His chosen Nation (Revelation 19:11–13). He will come back to the earth with His armies (Revelation 19:14, Jude 1:14)—with 10,000s of His saints!

The beast (Antichrist) and the false prophet will be thrown into the lake of fire and the rest will be slain with the sword (Revelation 19:20–21). The church needs to be ready for the rapture because in this last battle we need to fight with God, not against Him.

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on June 08, 2016