||The Coming Deception
We know for sure that a ruler who will have international authority is coming to the earth. We also know that he will not be alone. There will come a religious deceiver who will aid and abet this global leader. Today, we consider the end-time teaching of the world’s fastest-growing religion to see if there is an interface with the Bible’s predictions about what’s next.
Connect Group Recap: April 10, 2016
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "The Coming Deception"
Text: Revelation 13:11-18
We know for sure that a popular but wicked ruler who will have international authority is coming. We also know that he will not be alone; a religious deceiver will aid and abet this global leader. Pastor Skip considers the end-time teaching of the world's fastest-growing religion to see if there is an interface with the Bible's predictions about what's next:
- What We Know (vv. 11-18)
- What We're Told (assorted writings)
- What We Hope (v. 8)Points
What We Know (vv. 11-18)
- There will be strong delusion during the last days, caused by the Antichrist (see vv. 1-10) and the False Prophet (see vv. 11-18).
- The Antichrist will be known by his wickedness, world dominance, wonder, worship, and war (see Revelation 7-11; Daniel 9).
- The False Prophet will work for the Antichrist, cultivating a global religion and economy. His authority will be spiritual—not political—and his intent will be to deceive (see v. 14).
- His primary incentive to encourage people to worship the Antichrist will be economic (see vv. 16-17), supported by a system of global government.
- Many scholars believe that the Antichrist's power will be seated in a revival of the Roman Empire, specifically in the western European nations that once comprised the Western Empire.
- The Eastern Roman Empire, seated in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul), survived another 1,000 years after the fall of the West. Sixty percent of the old Eastern Empire is now inhabited by Muslims.
- Probe: Discuss how the 1.8 billion Muslims in the world might fit into future prophecy (see Daniel 7:8-11; 7:24-27; 9:24-27).
What We're Told (assorted writings)
- Muslims have an eschatology (a view of the end times) based on two writings: the Qur'an and the Sunna (words and works of Muhammad).
- Islamic theology says there will be three signs of the end times:
- First sign: the Mahdi will come (the Muslim messiah, also known as the Awaited Savior, Lord of the Age, and the Twelfth Imam). He will establish a seven-year treaty with Israel and bring global peace. Once the Mahdi comes, people will have two options: convert to Islam or die.
- Second sign: Jesus (known to Muslims as the human prophet Isa al-Masih) will follow. Muslims teach that Jesus will come back and say that Allah is the true God, and Muhammad is his prophet. In short, Jesus will come back as a radical Muslim.
- Third sign: the Dajjal—the Muslim antichrist—will come as a false miracle worker, claiming to be Jesus. The Dajjal will attempt to stop the Mahdi and Isa al-Masih.
- Probe: Take a moment to discuss the differences between the Bible's true Christ and Muslims' understanding of Christ (see Daniel 7). The Bible's Antichrist is Islam's savior, the Bible's False Prophet is Islam's Jesus, and the Bible's Christ is Islam's antichrist.
What We Hope (v. 8)
Connect Up: How can understanding the end times draw you close to God? Why is it important to have a general understanding of eschatology? Take time to learn a general timeline that includes the rapture, the tribulation, the battle of Armageddon, the millennial kingdom, and the new heaven and new earth.
- Revelation 13:8 implies that during the tribulation, some will resist the Antichrist, finding hope in the true Christ, Jesus.
- Muslims live without assurance of salvation: Allah can remove his blessing at any time, and becoming a martyr is the only guarantee of paradise. But Christ brings lasting forgiveness for those who believe; it's His work on the cross, not ours, that saves us (see Ephesians 2:8-9).
- Probe: Millions of Muslims are converting to Christ after discovering the truth of Islam's teachings and contrasting it with Christ's forgiveness. This is the best hope to thwart radical Islam. Pray for the newly converted and those needing miraculous intervention.
Connect In: Knowing that Christians live with the assurance of heaven—that we'll be with one another throughout eternity—how should we treat one another now? How do we balance the importance of unity and compassion with regard for biblical truth?
Connect Out: Though the end times will unfold as God intends, how can we partner with the Holy Spirit in reaching out to Muslims? Here are good starting points: prayer, loving conduct, hospitality, listening, answering questions, avoiding argument, and simply and openly presenting the gospel (http://jesustomuslims.org/content/bridge-points-reaching-muslims). Remember who the real Enemy is: Satan.
Figures referenced: Abraham Lincoln, Muhammad
- It's hard to deceive someone who knows the truth
- We know the true Jesus
- We know that a false Jesus---an imposter---will come in the future
- He will be a substitute Jesus who will deceive the whole world
- What We Know (vv. 11-18)
- We know that someone we call the Antichrist is coming (see1 John 2:18)
- In John's revelation, he saw a beast rising from the sea, emblematic of nations (see Revelation 13:1)
- The Antichrist will be given universal authority and adoration (see Revelation 13:8)
- He will persecute God's people (see Revelation 13:7)
- He will kill them with the sword (see Revelation 13:10)
- They will be beheaded for their faith (see Revelation 20:4)
- The Antichrist will make a peace covenant with the nation of Israel (see Daniel 9:27)
- He will break the covenant halfway through the seven-year agreement
- Abomination of desolation (see Matthew 24:15-16; Mark 13:14)
- He is the first rider on the white horse (see Revelation 6:2)
- Conquering and to conquer
- Although he will bring peace, he will ultimately bring carnage and devastation
- The Antichrist will not be alone; he will have areligious counterpart (see Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10)
- The false prophet
- He will rise up out of the earth (see v. 11)
- The term earth literally means the land
- The land often refers to the Holy Land, the land of Israel
- He could be Jewish
- This beast has two horns like a lamb
- He will speak deception
- His authority will not be political; it will be spiritual
- His goal is to deceive the people of the earth by signs (see vv. 13-14)
- His primary incentive will be the economy
- The economy will be extremely bad during the tribulation because billions of people will have died
- People will be vulnerable and willing to do anything to feed themselves and their families
- He will make it so no one can buy or sell without a specific mark
- Many people have suggested that the Antichrist willrise from somewhere in Europe, because geographically, it contains whatwas the old Roman Empire
- The idea of the Roman Empire came about because of avision Nebuchadnezzar had (see Daniel 2:31-47)
- The two legs of iron referred to the Roman Empire
- The Roman Empire split in AD 395
- Eastern and western branches
- Capital of eastern branch was modern-day Istanbul, Turkey
- The ten toes of iron and clay represented the revived Roman Empire
- 60 percent of the Roman Empire at the time of Jesus werelands that today are occupied by Islam
- Today there is an Islamic revival like never before
- By the year 2055, it is predicted that Islam will surpass Christianity as the world's most popular religion
- What We're Told (assorted writings)
- Islam has an eschatology
- Eschatology = a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind
- Christians know little to nothing about Islam's eschatology
- Islam's view of Christians
- They refer to Jews and Christians as People of the Book
- They believe our books---the Old and New Testaments---have been corrupted
- The hold the Qur'an as the only reliable source of revelation
- Qur'an = the direct words of Allah
- Sunnah (or hadiths) = words and works of Muhammad the prophet
- Islam believes the end times will be ushered in bythree great signs
- The Mahdi will come
- The equivalent of the Messiah
- Mahdi = guided one
- He will set up a new world order---an Islamic caliphate---that is civil, political, and spiritual
- He will lead a revolution to establish Islam throughout the world
- If Jews and Christians refuse to convert, they will be killed
- Army of Black Flags
- Conquer Jerusalem and kill the Jews
- He will make a peace agreement with the Jews and the West for seven years
- He will come on a white horse to conquer
- Jesus will come
- To Muslims, Jesus was just a man who did not die
- No resurrection, no atonement for sin
- Spared crucifixion and ascended to heaven
- Waiting for Allah to send Him back to earth
- Allah will send Jesus back to the earth to correct all Christians who have misunderstood who He is
- He will return as a radical Muslim who will help the Mahdi establish Islam on the whole earth and abolish Christianity
- He will stand behind the Mahdi to show that the Mahdi is greater than Him
- He will kill the Dajjal, get married, have a family, die, and be buried next to Muhammad
- The Dajjal will come
- The Muslim's version of the Antichrist
- He will try to kill the Mahdi and Jesus and try to rule the world
- Full name is Al-Masih ad-Dajjal, the Messiah the deceiver
- A false miracle worker
- Will claim to be Jesus and God
- Will be the defender of the Jews
- The Bible's Antichrist is Islam's savior
- The Bible's false prophet is Islam's Jesus Christ
- The Bible's returning Christ is Islam's Antichrist
- The Antichrist will change times and law (see Daniel7:25)
- Islam says that when the Mahdi comes, he will throw out all human constitutions and enact Sharia law
- He will change all calendars to the Islamic calendar
- What We Hope (v. 8)
- There will be some who resist the Antichrist
- Their names will be written in the Book of Life
- Those who don't resist will capitulate
- God's plan since creation has been to raise up Jesus forthe redemption of the world (see John 3:16)
- If we accept Christ, we can be assured that our nameis written in the Lamb's Book of Life
- Muslims do not know for certain they will go to heaven
- They believe in a god who believes in abrogation
- He can change his mind whenever he wants
- There is only one way a Muslim can be assured he is going to heaven: losing his life in the cause of jihad
- There are Muslims around the world whose eyes havebeen opened and have come to Christ
- As the Qur'an and hadiths are being read to them, they are seeing the true face of their religion
- Muslims are not the enemy; Satan and his lies are the enemy
- We fight lies with truth
- We need to give the world a dose of the real Jesus
- The false Jesus is coming
- Make sure your name is written in the Lamb's Book ofLife
Daniel 2:31-47; 7:25; 9:27; Matthew 24:15-16; Mark 13:14; John 3:16; 1 John 2:18; Revelation 6:2; 13:1, 7-8, 10; 16:13; 19:20; 20:4, 10
Antichrist, beast, abomination of desolation, false prophet, Roman Empire, Islam, Muslim, eschatology, Mahdi, caliphate, Army of Black Flags, Allah, Dajjal, Sharia law, Lamb's Book of Life