SERIES: What's Next?
MESSAGE: The Most Interesting Man in the World
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Revelation 13:1-10

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Unlike the fictional beer commercials, the most interesting man in the world is coming. Dynamic, persuasive, and a breath of fresh air, this leader’s diplomatic skills will be off the charts. On one hand, he will be everything the world has been waiting for; on the other hand, he will be its biggest nightmare. Since the number six is often the designated number of man in Scripture, let’s examine six characteristics of this most interesting coming ruler.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: April 3, 2016
Teaching: "The Most Interesting Man in the World"
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Text: Revelation 13:1-10

Path

Unlike the fictional beer commercials, the most interesting man in the world is coming. Dynamic, persuasive, and a breath of fresh air, this leader's diplomatic skills will be off the charts. On one hand, he will be everything the world has been waiting for; on the other hand, he will be its biggest nightmare. Since the number six is often the designated number of man in Scripture, Pastor Skip examined six characteristics of this most interesting coming ruler, most often called the Antichrist:

Points

Wickedness (v. 1)
World Dominance (vv. 1-2)
Wonder (v. 3)
Worship (vv. 4, 8)
Words (vv. 5-6)
War (vv. 7-10)
Practice

Connect Up: Pastor Skip noted that the first three and a half years of the Antichrist's reign will be peaceful, but the last three and a half years will bring about an abomination during which two-thirds of the Jewish people will die (see Zechariah 13:8-9). Why will God allow such desecration on the earth? How does this narrative show the delicate balance between God's control and God's judgment?

Connect In: As Pastor Skip noted, the most interesting man in the world is also the most deceptive. Read Matthew 24. How can the church protect itself from deception?

Connect Out: There are stark differences between the Antichrist and Jesus Christ:
How can we use the coming world reality to partner with the Holy Spirit in proclaiming the good news, seeing many saved? Pray for friends and family who are not yet Christians.

DETAILED NOTES

  1. Introduction
    1. There is coming to this world someone whom the world will designate as the most interesting man in the world
    2. He will be charismatic, dynamic, charming, compelling, and full of himself
    3. He will have his own number (see Revelation 13:18)
      1. The number of man: 666
      2. Mankind was created on the sixth day of creation (see Genesis 1:26-31)
      3. Bondmen were set free after six years of slavery
    4. This world ruler is typically known as the Antichrist
      1. The name Antichrist first appears in 1 John 2:18
      2. He is called many other names in Scripture
        1. The man of sin (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3)
        2. The lawless one (see 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9)
        3. The beast (see Revelation 13)
        4. The little horn (see Daniel 7:8; 8:9-12)
        5. The prince who is to come (see Daniel 9:26)
        6. The willful king (see Daniel 11:36)
        7. The idol shepherd (see Zechariah 11:17, KJV)
    5. The world's view of the Antichrist
      1. Many people do not believe the Antichrist exists
      2. Others think he will be someone dark and sinister due to how he is portrayed in many Hollywood films
    6. In reality, the Antichrist will come on the scene as someone who is poised, polished, and perfect
    7. A large amount of Scripture predicts the arrival of the Antichrist
      1. Old Testament prophets
      2. New Testament apostles
      3. Jesus Christ
    8. Many people throughout history have attempted to guess who he will be
      1. Caligula the emperor: erected a statue of himself in the Jerusalem temple in AD 37
      2. Caesar Nero
        1. Persecuted Christians
        2. Given the designation the beast by the early church
      3. Many others throughout history, including several United States presidents, many popes, and even the Internet
  2. Wickedness (v. 1)
    1. A beast
      1. Thérion = a wild beast
      2. Out of the sea
      3. John did not receive a dictation; he saw a vision
    2. The symbols point to realities: the beast represents a beast-like person
    3. Vicious and savage
      1. Man of sin and son of perdition (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3)
      2. The lawless one (see 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9)
    4. He will not initially appear like a beast
      1. He will come as a peacemaker (see Revelation 6:2)
      2. Though he will begin very wonderfully, he will have a seven-year plan that will end very wickedly
  3. World Dominance (vv. 1-2)
    1. In this vision, John saw the beast in a similar way Daniel the prophet did (see Daniel 7:3-8)
      1. Daniel's vision was of a succession of world-governing empires that would come to the earth from his time forward
      2. First beast
        1. A lion with the wings of an eagle
        2. The nation and kingdom of Babylon
        3. Fierce and ferocious like a lion
      3. Second beast
        1. A bear with three ribs in its mouth
        2. The Medo-Persian Empire
        3. Slow, but sure and strong
      4. Third beast
        1. A leopard with four wings that moves swiftly across the earth
        2. The Grecian Empire
        3. Alexander the Great moved very swiftly and took over the world at a very young age
      5. Fourth beast
        1. A vicious and ferocious beast
        2. Has ten horns
    2. John saw something similar, but in reverse, and all wrapped up in one creature—in one kingdom
      1. Has all the elements and characteristics of the others, but is unified in a more dreadful power
      2. A final, world-governing empire
    3. John saw the beast rise from the sea
      1. The sea is emblematic of nations
      2. A picture of humanity, especially Gentile nations (see Isaiah 17:12; 57:20; Revelation 17:15)
      3. Perhaps the Mediterranean Sea
    4. The beast will form a global confederacy (see Daniel 7:23-24)
      1. Globalism has been the political buzzword in recent years
      2. Democratic World Federalists
        1. Says the United Nations, League of Nations, and NATO have all failed to prevent majors wars in the world
        2. The only way to do that is by a global government with a global constitution, world parliament, world law, and world economy
      3. The Vatican started pushing the idea of globalism, a global economy, and global leadership in 2011
  4. Wonder (v. 3)
    1. This beastly ruler is going to be Satan's masterpiece
      1. Satan's perfect man
      2. An ideal specimen
    2. He will get his power from Satan (see Revelation 12:3-17)
    3. One of his heads will be mortally wounded and then healed
      1. Some believe this is a reference to a revived Roman Empire
        1. There have been six world-governing empires throughout history
          1. Egyptian
          2. Assyrian
          3. Babylonian
          4. Medo-Persian
          5. Greek
          6. Roman
        2. The seventh head could refer to the resurrection of the dead Roman Empire
      2. Others believe the Antichrist will receive a head wound and will be able to stage some sort of a resurrection
        1. This would cause wonder and marvel
        2. Thaumazó = to marvel, wonder
        3. This could be what Jesus meant when He said another would come that the world would receive instead of Him (see John 5:43)
    4. The world will wonder at his rise to power
      1. Mental agility
      2. Ability to solve complex problems and issues
    5. Wonder is always the first step toward worship
  5. Worship (vv. 4, 8)
    1. This is what Satan has wanted all along
      1. He was an angelic being created by God
      2. In the hierarchy of heaven, Lucifer was submissive to God
      3. He was not content and was cast out of heaven (see Isaiah 14:12-14)
    2. He will claim to be God (see Thessalonians 2:3-4)
      1. One definition of anti is instead of
      2. The Antichrist will want to be Christ instead of Christ
      3. He will be the counterfeit
      4. There will be an unholy, illegitimate Trinity of Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet
    3. "He will be Satan's masterpiece of deception, the world's false messiah. With boundless enthusiasm the masses will follow him and readily enthrone him in their hearts as this world's savior and god" —John Phillips
  6. Words (vv. 5-6)
    1. This ruler will have the ability to sway people with his words
      1. In Daniel 7, he is described four times as having a mouth speaking "pompous words" (vv. 8, 11, 20, 25)
      2. Almost all dictators in world history have risen to power at least in part by their ability to use persuasive speech to sway crowds
      3. Adolf Hitler
    2. The Antichrist will be able to solve the problem between the Jewish and Arab world
    3. He will appear to be the solution to all the world's problems—at first
  7. War (vv. 7-10)
    1. Once this ruler succeeds in influence and domination, a holocaust will break out
      1. This will take place right in the middle of a seven-year tribulation
      2. This will begin the great tribulation
      3. Jesus and Daniel called this the abomination of desolation (see Daniel 11:31; 12:11; Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14)
    2. The Antichrist will persecute the saints
      1. Daniel 7:25: the Hebrew word bela means to wear away or out
      2. Physical harassment, legal injustice, seizure of property, blatant punishment
        1. Will require everyone to take a mark for commercial purposes (see Revelation 13:16-18)
        2. Anyone who does not take the mark will be branded a revolutionary
  8. Closing
    1. Timeline
      1. The first three and a half years will be peaceful
      2. At the midpoint of the seven years, the abomination of desolation will come
        1. A peace treaty that he will have signed with the Jews will be broken (see Daniel 9:27)
        2. He will immediately kill two-thirds of all Jews (see Zechariah 13:8-9)
        3. He will conquer the city of Jerusalem (see Zechariah 14:2)
      3. He will then go on a rampage to kill believers around the world (see Revelation 13:7)
        1. Jesus predicted this (see Matthew 24:9)
        2. But Jesus said He would protect the church (see Matthew 16:18)
          1. This group of people are not the church
          2. The church will have already been raptured
          3. This group of people are the tribulation saints: people who will come to faith during the tribulation period
    2. Antichrist versus Jesus Christ
      1. We are not called to identify the Antichrist; we are called to look to the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ
      2. The Antichrist
        1. Man of sin
        2. The idol shepherd
        3. A beast
        4. His death is meant to deceive the world
      3. Jesus Christ
        1. Sinless Man
        2. The Good Shepherd
        3. A Lamb
        4. His death was meant to save the world
    3. The most interesting man in the world is the most insidious man in the world
    4. The world is already being deceived
      1. Everything we traditionally called right is now called wrong and everything we traditionally called wrong is now right
      2. Deception is on the move and will increase in epic proportions

Figures referenced: Alexander the Great, Caligula, Caesar Nero, Adolf Hitler, John Phillips

Greek/Hebrew words: bela, thaumazó, thérion

Cross references: Genesis 1:26-31; Isaiah 14:12-14; 17:12; 57:20; Daniel 7:3-8, 11, 20, 23-25; 8:9-12; 9:26-27; 11:31, 36; 12:11; Zechariah 11:17; 13:8-9; 14:2; Matthew 16:18; 24:9, 15; Mark 13:14; John 5:43; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 8-9; 1 John 2:18; Revelation 6:2; 12:3-17; 13:16-18; 17:15

Topic: Antichrist

Keywords: 666, Antichrist, beast, little horn, empire, Democratic World Federalists, globalism, resurrection, worship, counterfeit, Satan, tribulation, great tribulation, abomination of desolation, mark of the beast, rapture, tribulation saints, end times


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