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The Most Interesting Man in the World - Revelation 13:1-10

Taught on | 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

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.

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4/3/2016
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The Most Interesting Man in the World
Revelation 13:1-10
Skip Heitzig
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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.
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What's Next?

What's Next?

We live in a culture that is constantly asking, "What's next?" We want to know the latest fashions, trends, stocks, and gadgets. In a world that's always looking for the next big thing, we can sometimes forget the most important thing. As Christians, we are called to wait with anticipation for the return of Christ. In this series through the book of Revelation, we look forward and ask ourselves, "What's next?"

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Outline

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  1. Wickedness (v. 1)

  2. World Dominance (vv. 1-2)

  3. Wonder (v. 3)

  4. Worship (vv. 4, 8)

  5. Words (vv. 5-6)

  6. War (vv. 7-10)

Study Guide

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

Wickedness (v. 1)
  • In his vision, John saw the Antichrist as an insidious man---a beast, from the Greek thérion, meaning a wild, venomous monster.
  • Though starting as a man of peace (see Revelation 6:2), the Antichrist will reveal his true colors halfway through the tribulation, showing himself not as a hero but a beast.
  • In 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul called the Antichrist "the man of sin" (v. 3), "the lawless one" (vv. 8-9), and "the son of perdition" (v. 3).
World Dominance (vv. 1-2)
  • Daniel prophesied that the Antichrist will pull the world's political leaders together into one world-governing empire (see Daniel 7).
  • He will rise from the sea, or the nations (see Isaiah 17; Revelation 17)---possibly from the Mediterranean region.
  • He will promote globalism: a global network of political alliances with a single law and economy.
Wonder (v. 3)
  • The number associated with the Antichrist is 666 (see Revelation 13:18). There is much speculation as to what the number means.
  • The Antichrist will be fully possessed and led by Satan, which will be a marvel in many people's eyes. They will admire and wonder at his ability and be mesmerized by his talent.
  • Wonder is the first step toward worship; many will see him as a political savior, the bringer of peace in the Middle East and ultimately the world.
Worship (vv. 4, 8)
  • People's fascination with the Antichrist will turn to adoration.
  • In 2 Thessalonians 2:4, Paul said the Antichrist will "oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God" (NIV).
  • The prefix anti means against, but it also means instead of.
  • The Antichrist will be a counterfeit Christ, part of an illegitimate and unholy trinity: Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet.
Words (vv. 5-6)
  • The Antichrist will have the ability to sway people with his words. He will be a master speaker and politician, exuding self-confidence.
  • Daniel 7:8 describes him as "a mouth speaking pompous words."
  • Throughout the centuries, almost all dictators rose to power through the persuasive use of words.
War (vv. 7-10)
  • Once the Antichrist succeeds in dominating the world, he will begin another holocaust as he seeks to eradicate the Jewish people and new believers (tribulation saints: those saved after the rapture).
  • Daniel 7:25 states that he "shall persecute the saints of the Most High."
  • The Hebrew word for persecute means to wear out a garment. The Antichrist will continually harass God's people physically, legally, and spiritually.
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:
  • Antichrist is called the man of sin;Jesus isthe Sinless Man.
  • Antichrist is the idol shepherd;Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
  • Antichrist is pictured as a beast; Jesus is the Lamb.
  • Antichrist's false death will be meant to deceive; Jesus' death was meant to save.
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

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  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

Transcript

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Hello and welcome to this teaching from Pastor Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque. Skip's teachings are shared globally, and we're encouraged when we hear how lives are being transformed. If this message impacts you, we'd like to know. Email us at mystory@calvaryabq.org. And if you'd like to support this ministry financially, you can give online securely at calvaryabq.org/giving. As we continue our series What's Next, we look toward the future at a leader who will appear to be everything the world has ever wanted-- dynamic, persuasive, and diplomatic. He will bring peace for a time, but ultimately, he will plunge the world into war. We invite you to open your bibles of Revelations 13 as skip begins the message, the most interesting man in the world.

Do you recognize this guy? Do you know who he is? He's the most interesting man in the world-- that's right. And look, he's holding our bulletin this morning. Turn in your bibles to Revelation chapter 13, please.

Yeah, this guy has been featured in commercials. He's called the most interesting man in the world. He just retired. And of course, he's on commercials selling beer. And the commercials give you reasons why he's the most interesting man in the world, and they're way out claims. For instance, here's one-- Superman has pajamas with his logo because he's the most interesting man in the world.

Once a rattlesnake bit him, after five days of excruciating pain, the snake finally died because he's the most interesting man in the world. Sharks have a week dedicated to him because he's the most interesting man in the world. Roses stop to smell him because he's the most interesting man in the world. And finally, mosquitoes refuse to bite him purely out of respect because he's the most interesting man in the world.

OK, this guy aside, there is coming to this world somebody whom the world will designate as probably the most interesting man in the world-- he'll be charismatic, he'll be dynamic, he'll be charming, and he'll be full of himself. You couldn't make enough commercials about him. He will be the ultimate man. In fact, he has a designation in chapter 13 verse 18. He's given a certain number. And it says, it's the number of man-- 666.

So because 6 is often called the number of man-- mankind was created on the sixth day of creation. Bond men were set free after six years of slavery. So typically six is seen as the number of man. I want to give you six characteristics of this coming world ruler.

Now, typically, he is called by most of us the Antichrist. That's the familiar name, even though he goes by many other names in the scripture. And we don't get to the name Antichrist until first John chapter two, where John writes, "little children, it is the last hour. And you have heard that the Antichrist is coming. And even so, many Antichrist have already come."

But he goes by other titles. For example, is called the man of sin, the lawless one. In Revelation 13, we will see he is called the beast. He's given the title "the little horn" in the book of Daniel. The prince that shall come-- Daniel, chapter 9. Also, the willful king and the idle shepherd out of the book of Zechariah.

Now, frankly, when most people hear the word Antichrist in a normal setting-- if you were to bring that term up-- you would probably get laughed at or least a condescending sneer or snicker. After all, for most people, the idea of an anti-Christ is in the same category as the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus or maybe Cupid and Dracula. I mean, these things don't really exist.

Or when people think about if they believe in the coming of the Antichrist, they think of somebody really dark and sinister because of all the Hollywood movies. I discover no less than 24 full-length length Hollywood films on the Antichrist as the subject. And typically, Hollywood depicts him as this dark, sinister being. But that's far from how he's going to come on the scene. He'll enter the world seen as poised and polished and perfect.

Now, just in case you may be thinking the idea of a coming world leader called the Antichrist is far fetched, you have a lot of Bible to fight against. You have the writings of the Old Testament prophets, the writings of the New Testament apostles, and even the words of Jesus Christ himself, all who predicted his arrival. And as you would suspect, the Antichrist throughout history, many have taken a guess as to who he would be, and all of them were wrong.

For example, the first one that we know of-- at least, that I know of-- was in 37 AD when Caligula, the emperor, put a statue of himself in the Jerusalem temple. And many immediately said, that's Antichrist. 20 years later, Caesar Nero was called the Antichrist because of his persecution of the Christian church. In fact, he was given the designation by early Christians "the beast."

But it doesn't stop there. Others throughout history have been noted as the Antichrist. Benito Mussolini was one. Napoleon Bonaparte, Charlemagne, Adolf Hitler as you would suspect, Moshe Dayan, the Israeli military leader, Henry Kissinger, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Javier Solana of Spain-- all have been called the Antichrist.

Also, several US presidents have been called the Antichrist-- probably all of them by some. Most notable, Thomas Jefferson was the first president to be dubbed the Antichrist. Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his generation some thought was. John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Ronald Reagan-- all dubbed the Antichrist. And besides them, several popes-- probably most every pope-- by some groups have been dubbed the Antichrist.

I even found a prophetic publication that said the Antichrist is the internet. And so I kept reading to discover what it was about. They said, well, w-w-w, when you bring up the web page, the Hebrew equivalent of that is the letter Vav in Hebrew. That's the W sound. Vav is the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet and the numeric equivalent would be 666-- w-w-w. Of course, I found that on the internet, so we have some problems with it's sourcing.

So all the speculations aside, allow me to give you six words-- a sixfold description-- of this most interesting man in the world. First is wickedness-- wickedness. Verse one, "then I stood on the sand of the see"-- Revelation 13, verse one. "And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and 10 horns. And on his horns, 10 crowns. And on his heads, a blasphemous name."

Note that he is called a beast. This is how God sees him. He's not a wonderful man, he's a wicked man. He's not the most interesting man in the world. God sees him as a beast-- the most insidious man in the world. The word beast is the Greek word Therion, which means a wild, venomous monster. When you think of a beast, don't think of an animal or a household pet like a dog. I have known some dogs that are beast like and pretty ugly, but this is different.

By the way, I decided to go on the internet and call up the 10 ugliest creatures in the world, and in all the sites, this one came up as number one-- the ugliest creature. So when you see that, if you're like most people, not only do you go ewww, you go that's not real, that's fake. Turns out, it is real. We dub it "the blob fish." The blob fish goes by other names, but it is a gelatinous-shaped fish-- gelatinous material-- and it's a bottom dweller. It dwells in the lowest depths of the South Pacific. And in the list of the 10 ugliest animals or creatures in the world, it's this beast out of the sea. So let's get rid of that thing now.

I just wanted you to get a little visual in your head, because what John is getting here isn't dictation, he's getting a vision. He's seeing a beast rise up out of the sea, but the symbols point to realities. This beast out of the sea is emblematic of a person. How do we know? Because of all the personal pronouns attributed to it. Him, he, his are all pronouns that are speaking about this beast that rises up out of the sea. So we can safely surmise that it is emblematic of a person-- a beast-like person.

He's pictured as a beast because he's a beast of a man. He's vicious. He's savage. Paul calls him a man of sin. He calls him the son of perdition and also the lawless one-- all words that speak of this first feature. He is a wicked person. Wickedness-- a beast.

But he doesn't begin that way. He begins so suave. He begins like the most interesting man in the world. He is a peacemaker, as we saw in Revelation chapter six. He comes on a white horse conquering and to conquer. But he's got a seven year plan. And though he begins very, very wonderfully, his beginning is not like his end. He ends very, very wickedly.

Here's the second description-- world dominance. Look at verse two. "The beast which I saw was like a Leopard. His feet were like the feet of a bear, his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him power, his throne and great authority." Now, he appears to John the Apostle much like he appeared to Daniel the prophet 600 years before. I hope in reading this description only some of you will have lights going off in your head and you go, I've read this somewhere else.

Yes, it's the book of Daniel. Daniel gets a vision in chapter seven of Daniel of a succession of kingdoms-- world-governing empires-- that will come to the earth from his time forward. And the first beast he sees is that of a lion with the wings of an eagle. The second is a bear. The bear is lumbering off to one side with three ribs in its mouth. The third creature is a leopard with four wings that moves swiftly across the earth. This is all in Daniel's vision. And then the fourth beast he sees has 10 horns, much like this.

So when we read that chapter, we discover this vision has meaning. And the meaning is unfolded in that chapter. We are told that the lion is the nation and kingdom of Babylon. It is fierce, it is ferocious like a lion. The second, the bear, is emblematic of the Medo Persian Empire. It's like a bear. It lumbers along. It's slower, but it's sure. It's strong. And it took over the world after the Babylonian Empire.

And then the third is the Leopard, and that represents, according to the text, the Grecian empire. Alexander the Great moved swiftly like a Leopard and took over the world at a very, very young age. But then the fourth empire that Daniel sees is this beast like nothing he's ever seen before with 10 horns-- a vicious and ferocious beast. So John sees sort of the same thing but in reverse and all wrapped up into one kingdom-- one person. That is, it has all the elements, all the characteristics of the others, but it is unified and more dreadful in power.

Now look at verse seven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them-- we'll get to that in a bit. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. Now we're dealing with a final world-governing empire-- dominating, strong, rapid, ferocious.

What John notices is a beast rising up out of the sea. What does that make? The sea is emblematic of nations. In Isaiah chapter 17, Isaiah chapter 57, and Revelation chapter 17, that emblem of the sea is a picture of humanity. It's a sea of humanity, especially Gentile nations.

So he sees a beast rising up out of the sea of humanity, perhaps even in John's vision the Mediterranean Sea, perhaps indicating he'll come from the Mediterranean world, with seven heads and 10 horns. Again, I refer you back to Daniel where this leader forms a global confederacy. Daniel sees the same thing. Listen to this, Daniel 7, 23. "This beast-- this final beast-- shall be a kingdom and shall devour the whole Earth, trample it, and break it in pieces."

Now, in that vision of 10 horns, he also sees a notable horn-- a little horn. And the little horn is an individual that bears rule over that 10 nation confederacy. It's a global confederacy. You know, it's been the last 10, 20 years where the term globalism has become the political buzz word. It's spoken about by virtually every leader-- global leadership, global coalition, global economy, we live in a global village.

And there have been several groups that have gotten together-- a couple that I have followed over the years just to see where they're at-- that are pushing this globalism. One is the Democratic World Federalists. They have worldwide supporters. They say the United Nations has failed. League of Nations, NATO-- they've all failed to keep the major wars out of the world. And the only way to do that is by a global government with a global constitution, and they offer one in their literature. A world parliament, world law, and world economy.

What's interesting about that is of the several groups that push that, in 2011, the Vatican started pushing the idea of globalism, a global economy, global leadership. All the world tied and unified under one government.

So wickedness, world dominance-- here's the third description, wonder. Wonder. Verse three tells us, "and I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled or wondered and followed the beast." This beastly ruler is going to be Satan's masterpiece.

I'm going to date some of you. Do you remember in the '70s the TV show The Six Million Dollar Man? It's this bionic astronaut. They put bionic parts in him, and he was the Six Million Dollar Man. The Antichrist will be the 666 million dollar man. He will be Satan's perfect man, ideal specimen, the ultimate satanic masterpiece.

Notice in verse two, "the dragon gave him his power." We know the dragon is. We've already uncovered that in our series on what's next in the Book of Revelation. The dragon is Satan himself. The dragon gave him his power. That is, we're talking about an individual who's been engineered by, possessed by, controlled by Satan.

Now, what does it mean when it says one of his head's was mortally wounded and then healed? Well, some believe this is reference to a revived, final empire-- to revived Roman Empire it has been called. You see, historically, we know that there have been so far six empires that we would call world-governing empires-- they ruled the known world at that time.

The first was the Egyptian empire. The second, the Assyrian Empire. The third, the Babylonian Empire. The fourth, the Medo Persian Empire. The fifth, the Greek empire. The sixth, the Roman Empire. And since that, we haven't had a world governance like we have had in those empires. It could be then that the idea of the seventh head-- the seventh empire-- is a resurrection-- a revival-- of what was dead-- a revived Roman Empire.

That's how some like to interpret it, but here's another thought. Others see this as he receives a head wound and is able to at least stage some sort of resurrection. I don't think if that's true it's in a literal resurrection. I don't think Satan has the ability to stage a literal resurrection. God is only one that has power over life and death. But at least, it could appear to be a resurrection. It could be a staged resurrection.

So just imagine what it would be like if a world leader died, he was placed in a casket, he's lying in state in some rotunda over in the Middle East. The news cameras are all on him-- all the international networks-- covering this funeral. Thousands are lined up to pay respect to this world later, and suddenly there's a wiggling in the casket. And the one everyone thought was dead rises back to life. Do you think that would cause wonder? Do you think that would cause marvel?

The word marvel is thaumazo, it means to be a mesmerized by, to be shocked by could even be translated. And perhaps this is what Jesus meant when he said, "I have come in my father's name and you did not receive me. Another will come in his own name, and him you will receive." the world will wonder at his rise to power. They will wonder at is agility mentally. They will wonder in his ability to solve complex issues and problems. And they will certainly wonder at what they would perceive to be a resurrection.

And wonder is always the first step toward worship, and that's what is next. After wonder, the fourth word is worship. Verse four, "they worshipped the dragon who gave authority to the beast-- that is Satan-- and they worshipped the beast, saying who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" Verse eight, "all who dwell in the earth will worship him whose names have not been written in the book of life of the lamb slain from the foundations of the world."

So now their wonder turns to worship. Their adulation turns to adoration. And by the way, it's what Satan has wanted all along, am I right? From the very beginning, when Satan was created by God, we understand from scripture that Satan was an angelic being. He was the anointed cherub that covers. In the hierarchy of heaven, Satan-- Lucifer-- was numero uno minus uno. And it was the minus one that bothered him-- he wanted it all.

Isaiah describes this fall in Isaiah 14-- "how are you following from heaven, oh Lucifer, son of the morning. For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will be like the most high-- el elyon-- almighty God. I will be like allmighty God." That's how it happened.

But he doesn't stop, does he. He fell, but he doesn't stop. In second Thesalonians, Paul the Apostle said the Antichrist will oppose and exalt himself over everything that is called God or that is worshipped as God so that he sets himself up in God's temple and demands worship. Listen, we call him the Antichrist. Most people think "anti" is a little prefix that means "against." He's the guy who's against Christ. That's what Antichrist means.

But the word "anti" also means "instead of." And I think that's a better way to look at who this guy will be. He will be the guy who wants to be the Christ instead of Christ. Jesus had a Resurrection, I'll have a Resurrection. He only had 12 followers of the time, I'll have the whole world watching this. He is Antichrist. He is the counterfeit. And even as there is a legitimate holy trinity of Father, Son, or Holy Spirit, I believe there's going to be an illegitimate, unholy trinity of Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet.

Now again, just to note, if you're still thinking this is so far fetched, this whole idea, taking this stuff literally, just look back in our western history a few years to what happened in Germany-- what happened in Europe with Adolf Hitler-- and how the world was swayed by him. And not only Germany, but even England-- eventually they got the picture, but at first, England, they were taken with him. Chamberlain thought he was the best thing since sliced bread.

And then go back further in history. What happened within Antiochus Epiphanes, the Syrian who also hated and despised the Jews and managed an incredible coup. John Phillips, an author, said the Antichrist will be an attractive and charismatic figure. A genius. A demon-controlled, devil-taught charmer of men. He will have the answers to the horrendous problems of mankind. He will be all things to all men-- a political statesman, a social lion, a financial wizard, an intellectual giant, a religious deceiver, a masterful orator, a gifted organizer. He will be Satan's masterpiece of deception, the world's false Messiah. With boundless enthusiasm, the masses will follow him and readily throw him in their hearts as the world's savior and god. He will, after all, be the most interesting man in the world.

There's something else that characterizes him-- words. Words. Verse five, "he was given a mouth, speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for 42 months." That's three and a half years. "Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God to blaspheme scene his name, his tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.

Now, this is noted not just here but in other places that this leader will have the ability to sway people. He will be a master politician. Daniel seven-- four times in that single chapter, this final leader is described by the phrase "he has a mouth speaking pompous words." Same idea here.

Now, we know that almost all dictators who have ever risen and had any kind of influence at all have done so at least in part by their ability to use persuasive speech to sway the crowds. I don't know if you've ever seen the films, the documentaries, or even gone to YouTube to see those old black and white spaces of Adolf Hitler to the German public pre-World War II? And even though they're in German and you can't understand what they're saying unless you speak German, you'll notice that Hitler would always begin his speeches almost in a whisper-- very calm, putting people at ease. And they begin to trust what he's saying.

And he's saying things that make sense and are so right and they resonate. And then, as the speech goes on, the volume rises and the pitch rises. By the end of the speech, he's blaring. He's yelling. And if you just came in on that part of the speech, you'd say, no sane person could listen to this guy.

But they've been listening all along, and they've been taken in by what he has been saying so that by the end, as they show the crowd shots, they're all in unison saying heil Hitler, heil Hitler, heil Hitler. Those who have survived Nazi Germany-- Germans who survived-- have written about it. And they said, we Americans can never understand the euphoric impact that Hitler had on them, that even cynics were swayed.

One author writes, skeptics would go to the great rallies in Nuremberg and come back saying, our Father, Adolph, who are in Nuremberg, the Third Reich come. They were taken in by his words. This world ruler is also known by his pompous words-- a mouth speaking great things. He can communicate so effectively, he will be able to somehow bring peace to the impossible problem of the Middle East-- this unsolvable dilemma in the Jewish and Arab world. Something that no one has solved.

And I can just hear him, his rhetoric after the Rapture of the church, convincing the world that missing Christians is a good thing. We've taken an evolutionary step forward. The world has purged itself of these intolerant fundamentalists. Put it this way-- low self esteem will not be his problem. He will love selfies. He will love commercials about him. He will exude self-confidence.

It's like a story I heard about a guy from Texas visiting the Niagara Falls in New York-- from that side. And the New Yorker showed him the great Niagara Falls. He said, you guys have anything like that in Texas? And the Texan said, nope, but we've got plumbers who can fix it. And I think the Antichrist will sort of be like that. I think he'll see the leak that has been sprung in the world and he goes, I can fix this. And he will try and people will give him a try. And at first, it will seem like it succeeds, and it'll go downhill from there, which leads me to the sixth characteristic-- war.

Verse seven, "and it was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell in the earth will worship him whose names have not been written in the book of life of the lamb, slain from the foundations of the world. If anyone as an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity, shall go into captivity. He who kills with the sword, must be killed with a sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints."

Once he succeeds in influence and domination, a holocaust will break out. It will be, we know, right in the middle of a seven year period. The middle marks the beginning of the great tribulation period. The middle marks the abomination of desolation. That's what Jesus called it. That's what Daniel called it.

Now again, this is not new information. Daniel seven, 25-- listen to that. "He shall speak pompous words against the most high, and he shall persecute the saints of the most high." The word persecute in Hebrew means to wear something down or wear it out, like a garment. If you wear it out so much, you can't wear it anymore because you've just worn it down. That's the idea of persecution.

He will continually harass the saints, I can only imagine by things like physical harassment, legal injustice, seizure of property, blatant punishment, failure to comply laws. If you keep reading in Revelation 13, everyone on earth will be required to take a mark for commercial purposes. If you refuse to take that, you will be branded a revolutionary. You could lose your life. He'll bring war. He'll fight against them.

Let me give you a quick thumbnail sketch-- a quick timeline. The first three and a half years will be calm, will be peaceful. It looks like everything's working. The coalition-- the international coalition-- looks like it's working. Peace, stability come to the earth. A little bit of struggle in the 10 powers, but this guy manages to quell all that.

Then, right in the middle of that seven-year period comes the abomination of desolation, a peace treaty he has signed-- Daniel chapter nine verse 27-- with the Jews and with the Jews enemies, is broken by the Antichrist. That's called the abomination of desolation, at which point all hell breaks loose. Let me describe it.

Immediately, this man kills two-thirds of all Jews. That's according to Zachariah chapter 13. He then conquers the city of Jerusalem-- Zachariah 14. He then deceives the rest of the world and goes on a rampage to kill believers around the earth. That's revelation 13. I know I'm just spouting through these. These are serious issues.

But Jesus predicted that. Just in case, again, you think, oh this can't ever happen, Jesus said it would. His words-- "then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you and you will be hated by all nations for my namesake." Now, I hope by now some of you have questions in your mind. I hope by now some of you have a problem in your mind. And you're thinking, wait a minute, I distinctly remember a promise Jesus made about its church. He said "I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it."

And yet, it says here that he's going to make war with the saints and overcome them. Exactly. Precisely. What we're reading about is not the church. The church has been raptured. These are tribulation saints-- in other words, people who come to faith during the tribulation period. How will they come to faith? We've already answered that question a few weeks ago-- by the witness of the two witnesses in Jerusalem, by the witness of 144,000 Jewish evangelists, and by the witness which is the everlasting gospel. The Bible says flies through heaven at that time. That'd do it.

And some will believe, and those who believe will be specially targeted by this man of sin-- the beast. So how do you end a seminar like this on an encouraging note? How do you bring this to an uplifting note? Simple-- by comparing the Antichrist to Jesus Christ. There really is no comparison, is there? I say, why would you wait, wonder, and try to identify the Antichrist. You're never called to. We're called to look for not the Antichrist, but Jesus Christ-- looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Let me give you a comparison. The Antichrist is called the man of sin. Jesus Christ was the sinless man. That Antichrist is called in Zechariah the idle shepard, Jesus is known as the good shepherd. The Antichrist here is pictured as a beast. In the same chapter, Jesus is seen as a lamb. Who do you want to follow, a beast or a lamb?

Antichrist's death will be meant to deceive the world, Jesus Christ's death is meant to save the world. What we discover is this most interesting man in the world is the most deceptive man in the world, the most insidious man in the world.

And I will say this-- the world is already being deceived. I mean, goodness, when right is wrong and wrong is right-- when everything that we thought traditionally was right is now called wrong and everything we traditionally called wrong is now called right, when black is white and white is black and up is down and down is up. We used to say that's really bad and that meant it's bad. Now kids say that's really bad and it means that's really good. It's like, what on earth means anything?

I close with this little story. Once upon a time, in a faraway country, lived a little girl called Red Riding Hood. One day, her mother asked her to take a basket of fruit to her grandmother who had been ill and lived alone in the cottage in the forest. It happened that a wolf was working in the bushes and overheard a conversation. He decided to take a shortcut to grandmother's house and get the goodies for himself.

The wolf killed the grandmother, then dressed in her nightgown and jumped into bed to await the little girl. When she arrived, he made several nasty suggestions and then tried to grab her. But by this time, the child was very frightened and ran screaming from the cottage. A wood cutter working nearby heard her cries and rushed to the rescue. He killed the wolf with his ax, thereby saving Red Riding Hood's life.

All the townspeople hurried to the scene and proclaimed the woodcutter a hero. But at the inquest, several facts emerged. The wolf had never been advised of his rights. The woodcutter had made no warning swings before striking the fatal blow. The Civil Liberties Union stressed the point that although the act of eating grandma may have been in bad taste, the wolf was only doing his thing and acting according to his nature. Thus, he didn't deserve the death penalty.

The SDS-- Student for a Democratic Society-- contended that the killing of grandmother should be considered self-defense since she was over 30 and therefore couldn't be taken seriously because the wolf was trying to make a love, not war. On the basis of these considerations, it was decided that there was no valid basis for charges against the wolf. Moreover, the woodcutter was indicted for un-aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Several nights later, the woodcutter's cottage was burned to the ground. One year from the date of the incident at grandma's, her cottage was made a shrine for the wolf, who had bled and died for others.

All the village officials spoke at the dedication, but it was Red Riding Hood who gave the most touching tribute. She said that while she had been selfishly grateful for the woodcutter's intervention, she now realized in retrospect that he had overreacted. She knelt and she placed a wreath in honor of the brave wolf. And there wasn't a dry eye in the whole forest.

Sadly, that little story seems to be being played out across our country, across this world. What was once wrong is now right. What was once right is now wrong. Deception is on the move, has gotten a foothold, and will increase in epic proportions.

And so we have the hope of looking not for Antichrist, but as the church looking for Jesus to come. Thank you, Father. Thank you. We applaud your grace, your mercy toward us. That we have been following the right one all along-- the authentic, the real, the legit Jesus Christ.

But we have been warned that one is coming who will dupe the world before you come again to intervene and intercept his grand scheme. Thank you for the hope. Thank you for the truth. Lord, I pray that if there are some here who have not turned to Jesus Christ, rather than allowing deception in their own lives to continue would turn to the one who came for them and gave himself to them. It's in his name we pray. Amen.

As believers, we don't have to fear the Antichrist because Jesus will defeat him in the end and bring everlastingly peace. We hope this message encourages you to share your salvation with others. Let us know. Email us at mystory@calvaryabq.org. And just a reminder, you can give financially to this work at calvaryabq.org/giving. Thank you for joining us for this teacher from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albaquerque.

Additional Messages in this Series

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Date Title   Watch Listen Notes Share Save Buy
1/10/2016
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What's Next?
Revelation 1
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
People have always been fascinated with the future and what's next. As we study prophecy, we can't help but wonder if current events play into an end-time scenario. The book of Revelation is John's written account of the spiritual revelation he received from God about the future return and reign of Christ. As Skip begins in Revelation 1, he encourages us to look at the future with faith and hope.
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1/17/2016
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Come Up Here
Revelation 1:19-20; Revelation 4:1-11
Skip Heitzig
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As believers, we look forward to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ and the blessed hope of eternity with Him. Unfortunately, some are put off by the idea of the rapture, because the date has been incorrectly predicted for so many years. In this message, we get a glimpse into the throne room of heaven as we anticipate the joy we'll have at the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ.
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1/24/2016
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What Is Heaven Like?
Revelation 5:1-14
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There are many preconceived ideas about what heaven is like: we might picture ourselves sitting on a fluffy white cloud playing a harp, or we see ourselves sitting on a porch or playing a round of golf. Some even think heaven sounds boring. In this message, we examine what heaven will really look like for believers and what we can expect when we get there.
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2/7/2016
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Stampede
Revelation 6:1-8
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The tribulation period will be a time of deception, war, famine, and death for the occupants of the world. The Antichrist will rise to power and masquerade as the Messiah, pretending to bring peace, but instead bringing war. In this message, we learn what will unfold when the first four seals are opened and their terrors are unleashed on the earth.
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2/14/2016
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The World's Greatest Revival
Revelation 7
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During the earth’s greatest trial and tribulation will also come its greatest opportunity for salvation. Even after the church is raptured off the earth and ensconced in heaven, there will be gospel preaching during this time of global pain. This is the flicker of hope that will be offered to the world while God pours out His wrath on it. There are three unexpected discoveries we make about the upcoming tribulation period.
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2/28/2016
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What's Next? from Jerusalem
Matthew 24:1-8
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One of God's greatest attributes is that He knows what is going to happen before it actually happens, and His Word clearly maps the events of the future. In this message from Jerusalem, we learn why this city is the center of the world, as well as what we can expect to take place when Jesus fulfills His promise to return for the church.
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3/6/2016
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Cosmic Conflict
Revelation 12:1-6
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There has been an invisible war between satanic forces and God’s purpose and people since time began. To fail to understand this conflict is to fail to understand both history and prophecy. Without the lens provided by Revelation 12, our vision of everything is obscured. We will never fully grasp the plan of God through the ages, the cross of Christ, the tribulation, and the future reign of Christ unless we can comprehend the cosmic conflict that is displayed in this chapter.
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3/13/2016
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Satan's Global Conflict
Revelation 12:7-17
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"War in Heaven Brings Wrath on Earth!" That could be the headline of Revelation 12. The ongoing battle of the ages that began in heaven and has played out on earth will reach fever pitch in the coming years. If you're asking What's Next?, the answer in part lies here. The cosmic battle becomes a global battle that will be filled with both woe and worship, both fury and freedom. Let's get more insight into the motivations and actions of the archenemy of God's people.
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4/10/2016
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The Coming Deception
Revelation 13:11-18
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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.
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4/17/2016
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The Return
Revelation 19:11-21
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We now come to the culmination of all redemptive history—the second coming of Jesus Christ. After history runs its sinister course, after the final period of man’s rebellion, Satan’s retaliation, and God’s judgment, the end of the world will come. But the end of this world will actually be the beginning of a new one. The event that hinges these together is the future coming of Christ to the earth. Let’s consider five aspects of His return, spoken of here and throughout Scripture.
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4/24/2016
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Heaven on Earth
Revelation 20:1-6
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Mankind long ago gave up on the idea of a future utopia. The thought of perpetual peace and undisturbed harmony became the stuff of fairy tales. But that is precisely what God promised He will bring to this earth one day. Though Satan has exercised a temporary authority over God’s creation for several millennia, the story isn’t over yet. Jesus will return to rule for a thousand years. And it won’t just be a spiritual kingdom in the hearts of His followers. This will be a literal dominion over a renewed earth. Let’s explore this thousand-year phase of your eternal future.
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5/22/2016
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What's Next...for Everyone!
Revelation 20:4-7; Revelation 20:11-15
Skip Heitzig
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My mom used to wake me up early every morning with her sweet voice saying, "Rise and shine!" It took a few times, but I eventually got up out of bed. Jesus too will call everyone who has died to "Rise up!" But not everyone will rise up to shine; some will rise up to suffer. Let's consider three inevitable and unalterable truths about the future for all of us: We will all live, we will all die, and we will all rise again to live forever.... But where and how?
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6/5/2016
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Surprising Facts about Your Eternal Home
Revelation 21-22
Skip Heitzig
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Through the years, I have observed that most people (even Christians) have ideas about what heaven will be like that are vastly different from how Scripture describes heaven. In this series, we have followed the chronological flow of the book of Revelation from the rapture through the tribulation, from the second coming to the millennial kingdom. We turn now to what the Bible describes as the final phase of heaven—the eternal state. Here are a few things that might further surprise you about your future home:
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There are 13 additional messages in this series.