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The Coming Deception
Revelation 13:11-18
Skip Heitzig

Revelation 13 (NKJV™)
11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.
12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.
15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,
17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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What's Next?

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.

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. What We Know (vv. 11-18)

  2. What We’re Told (assorted writings)

  3. What We Hope (v. 8)

Study Guide

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Connect Group Recap: April 10, 2016
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "The Coming Deception"
Text: Revelation 13:11-18

Path

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:
    1. What We Know (vv. 11-18)
    2. What We're Told (assorted writings)
    3. 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)
  • 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.
Practice

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.

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.

Detailed Notes

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  1. Introduction
    1. It's hard to deceive someone who knows the truth
    2. We know the true Jesus
      1. We know that a false Jesus---an imposter---will come in the future
      2. He will be a substitute Jesus who will deceive the whole world
  2. What We Know (vv. 11-18)
    1. We know that someone we call the Antichrist is coming (see1 John 2:18)
      1. In John's revelation, he saw a beast rising from the sea, emblematic of nations (see Revelation 13:1)
      2. The Antichrist will be given universal authority and adoration (see Revelation 13:8)
      3. He will persecute God's people (see Revelation 13:7)
        1. He will kill them with the sword (see Revelation 13:10)
        2. They will be beheaded for their faith (see Revelation 20:4)
      4. The Antichrist will make a peace covenant with the nation of Israel (see Daniel 9:27)
        1. He will break the covenant halfway through the seven-year agreement
        2. Abomination of desolation (see Matthew 24:15-16; Mark 13:14)
      5. He is the first rider on the white horse (see Revelation 6:2)
        1. Conquering and to conquer
        2. Although he will bring peace, he will ultimately bring carnage and devastation
    2. The Antichrist will not be alone; he will have areligious counterpart (see Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10)
      1. The false prophet
      2. He will rise up out of the earth (see v. 11)
        1. The term earth literally means the land
        2. The land often refers to the Holy Land, the land of Israel
        3. He could be Jewish
      3. This beast has two horns like a lamb
        1. He will speak deception
        2. His authority will not be political; it will be spiritual
        3. His goal is to deceive the people of the earth by signs (see vv. 13-14)
      4. His primary incentive will be the economy
        1. The economy will be extremely bad during the tribulation because billions of people will have died
        2. People will be vulnerable and willing to do anything to feed themselves and their families
        3. He will make it so no one can buy or sell without a specific mark
    3. Many people have suggested that the Antichrist willrise from somewhere in Europe, because geographically, it contains whatwas the old Roman Empire
    4. The idea of the Roman Empire came about because of avision Nebuchadnezzar had (see Daniel 2:31-47)
      1. The two legs of iron referred to the Roman Empire
        1. The Roman Empire split in AD 395
        2. Eastern and western branches
        3. Capital of eastern branch was modern-day Istanbul, Turkey
      2. The ten toes of iron and clay represented the revived Roman Empire
    5. 60 percent of the Roman Empire at the time of Jesus werelands that today are occupied by Islam
      1. Today there is an Islamic revival like never before
      2. By the year 2055, it is predicted that Islam will surpass Christianity as the world's most popular religion
  3. What We're Told (assorted writings)
    1. Islam has an eschatology
      1. Eschatology = a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind
      2. Christians know little to nothing about Islam's eschatology
    2. Islam's view of Christians
      1. They refer to Jews and Christians as People of the Book
      2. They believe our books---the Old and New Testaments---have been corrupted
      3. The hold the Qur'an as the only reliable source of revelation
        1. Qur'an = the direct words of Allah
        2. Sunnah (or hadiths) = words and works of Muhammad the prophet
    3. Islam believes the end times will be ushered in bythree great signs
      1. The Mahdi will come
        1. The equivalent of the Messiah
        2. Mahdi = guided one
        3. He will set up a new world order---an Islamic caliphate---that is civil, political, and spiritual
        4. He will lead a revolution to establish Islam throughout the world
          1. If Jews and Christians refuse to convert, they will be killed
          2. Army of Black Flags
          3. Conquer Jerusalem and kill the Jews
        5. He will make a peace agreement with the Jews and the West for seven years
        6. He will come on a white horse to conquer
      2. Jesus will come
        1. To Muslims, Jesus was just a man who did not die
          1. No resurrection, no atonement for sin
          2. Spared crucifixion and ascended to heaven
          3. Waiting for Allah to send Him back to earth
        2. Allah will send Jesus back to the earth to correct all Christians who have misunderstood who He is
        3. He will return as a radical Muslim who will help the Mahdi establish Islam on the whole earth and abolish Christianity
        4. He will stand behind the Mahdi to show that the Mahdi is greater than Him
        5. He will kill the Dajjal, get married, have a family, die, and be buried next to Muhammad
      3. The Dajjal will come
        1. The Muslim's version of the Antichrist
        2. He will try to kill the Mahdi and Jesus and try to rule the world
        3. Full name is Al-Masih ad-Dajjal, the Messiah the deceiver
        4. A false miracle worker
        5. Will claim to be Jesus and God
        6. Will be the defender of the Jews
    4. Differences
      1. The Bible's Antichrist is Islam's savior
      2. The Bible's false prophet is Islam's Jesus Christ
      3. The Bible's returning Christ is Islam's Antichrist
    5. The Antichrist will change times and law (see Daniel7:25)
      1. Islam says that when the Mahdi comes, he will throw out all human constitutions and enact Sharia law
      2. He will change all calendars to the Islamic calendar
  4. What We Hope (v. 8)
    1. There will be some who resist the Antichrist
      1. Their names will be written in the Book of Life
      2. Those who don't resist will capitulate
    2. God's plan since creation has been to raise up Jesus forthe redemption of the world (see John 3:16)
    3. If we accept Christ, we can be assured that our nameis written in the Lamb's Book of Life
      1. Muslims do not know for certain they will go to heaven
        1. They believe in a god who believes in abrogation
        2. He can change his mind whenever he wants
      2. There is only one way a Muslim can be assured he is going to heaven: losing his life in the cause of jihad
  5. Closing
    1. There are Muslims around the world whose eyes havebeen opened and have come to Christ
      1. As the Qur'an and hadiths are being read to them, they are seeing the true face of their religion
      2. Muslims are not the enemy; Satan and his lies are the enemy
    2. We fight lies with truth
      1. We need to give the world a dose of the real Jesus
      2. The false Jesus is coming
    3. Make sure your name is written in the Lamb's Book ofLife
Figures referenced: Abraham Lincoln, Muhammad
Cross references: 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
Topic: End Times
Keywords: 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

Transcript

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Hello, and welcome to this teaching from Pastor Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque. We pray that God uses these messages to reach people around the world, and we're thankful to hear stories of lives being transformed by his love. 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 learned that a religious deceiver will aid and abet the Antichrist, who will force the world to worship him strengthening his global leadership. Now, we invite you to turn in your Bibles to Revelation 13 as Skip begins the message "The Coming Deception."

Good to see you. Good to have you. Would you turn in your Bibles please to the book of Revelation, last book in that Bible. Turn to Revelation to the 13th chapter. We looked at part of it last week, we're going to look at the rest of that chapter this week. This series is called, What's Next? It's a question everybody asks. Revelation chapter 13.

So at the airport there were some baggage handlers who went to the luggage bay to take out one of those animal carriers, and they discovered that the dog inside the animal carrier was dead. So they panicked, and they thought of a lawsuit that would come their way. And so to mitigate against that, they called the owner of that pet and said, hey, your dog has been sent to a different destination, but we promise we'll retrieve the dog and bring it to your house. She said fine.

In the meantime, they found a living dog that looked very similar to the one that had died, and they put it in its place hoping to fool the woman. Well, when they came to our house and delivered her living dog in that animal carrier, she took one look at it and said, that's not my dog. My dog is dead. I was bringing it home for burial.

It's hard to deceive somebody who knows the truth. You don't trick a dog owner who knows its dog, because he or she knows its dog and knows what's not the real dog. And when it comes to Christ, we who know the true Jesus Christ also know that there will be a false Jesus. Jesus said that in the last days many Christs would rise up, false messiahs would rise up. Now, we have discovered in our studies of the Scriptures, not only in Revelation but throughout the Bible, that the Bible predicts a ruler to come to the Earth who will be a false messiah, a false Christ.

A few years ago in Florida during Christmas season when people put nativity sets out-- some of them do-- on their front lawns, a couple had their baby Jesus stolen. This was in Wellington, Florida, a wealthy community. And this was a very expensive nativity set. To replace baby Jesus cost them $1,800. So it was an expensive nativity set. It was stolen one year.

The second year the replacement Jesus was also stolen from the nativity set. The third year they decided to employ a clever tactic, they put a GPS tracker inside baby Jesus just in case. Well, sure enough, Jesus got stolen. And they went to the thief's home. They found Jesus at her house, an 18-year-old young woman who stole Jesus three years in a row.

It didn't just happen in Wellington, Florida. It also happened in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. This was not an expensive Jesus, this was a plastic Jesus. He was stolen, along with the chain attached to the plastic Jesus, along with the cement block attached to the chain attached to the baby Jesus, all there to prevent somebody from stealing the baby Jesus. It was stolen.

Come to find out, there's actually something called the stolen baby Jesus syndrome. You can look it up. Google it, not now, but at home. But every year, there's some wise acre who wants to either play a joke or is against Christmas who steals baby Jesus. Sometimes when one is stolen, a replacement is put in the crib, a little doll, a stuffed animal, a substitute Jesus. The Bible predicts a coming leader who will be a substitute messiah and deceive the world, if that's even possible, to deceive the whole world.

It was Abraham Lincoln who said, you can fool some of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time and all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. But the Antichrist will do a pretty good job of deceiving most all of the world as we saw last time when we were together. And we made a discovery, and that is that the devil's primary plan for the last days is to raise up two individuals, one that we typically call the Antichrist, along with somebody else called the false prophet enter-- instruments of deception sent to this world.

Now, I'll tell you right off the bat as we get into the rest of Revelation 13, this sermon is going to be a controversial one. Not that the other ones aren't, but this one especially will be in light of our current environment, in light of what's happening in the news these days and with a politically correct environment that we live in. So what I want to do in looking at in this chapter is give you three categories regarding the future, and they're simple divisions. What we know, what we're told, and what we hope. What we know to be true from the Scripture, what we're told by some we're going to see in the future, and what we hope.

Let's begin with what we know, and let's go and look at Revelation 13 verse 11. Then I saw, John said, then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs so that he even makes fire come down from Heaven on the earth in the sight of men. He deceives those who dwell on the Earth by those signs, which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the Earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.

He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both great and small or small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads. And that no one may buy or sell, except one who has the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name.

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666. Without speculation, here's what we know. We know that someone that we call Antichrist is coming. We know that for sure. Jesus predicted it. Daniel said it.

John, Paul-- they all predicted that some ruler, whom John called Antichrist-- 1 John chapter 2 verse 18, little children, you have heard that the Antichrist is coming. We know that for sure. Last week we took a look at him. John saw in the beginning part of this chapter, a beast rising up out of the sea. And we showed you that in the Bible, sea is often emblematic of nations, especially Gentile nations.

We also saw that he will be given a universal authority and adoration. We gave you a sixfold description of the Antichrist-- wickedness, world dominion, wonder, worship, words, and war. That was last week's outline. We discovered he's going to persecute God's people-- verse seven of Revelation 13. He will target Jews and Christians-- verse 10 even says killing them with the sword. And then we will discover in chapter 20 of the book of Revelation that they are beheaded for their faith in Christ.

Daniel chapter 9 tells us this world ruler will make some kind of a covenant for seven years with the Jews regarding their temple and regarding their land, and he will renege on that contract in the middle of that seven year period. Jesus called that event the abomination of desolation. He, Jesus, said in Matthew 24, that event will take place in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount.

And he tells everybody in Jerusalem, every Jewish person, to flee to the mountains when that happens, because this ruler's headquarters will be set up in Jerusalem in Israel. Moreover, if you just think back a couple of studies, we noted that the Antichrist is depicted as the first rider in chapter six on the white horse. He comes conquering and to conquer. And we discovered that after he comes, though he brings peace at first, he will bring in carnage and devastation to follow.

So that we know. We know that for sure. Somebody is coming in the future. Don't know when, don't know who it is. Here's the second thing we know for sure, besides the Antichrist, he's not alone. He's going to have a religious counterpart.

I believe we see him here in the second part of Revelation 13. He is called the false prophet, not here, but three places in the book of Revelation. Chapter 16 verse 13, chapter 19 verse 20, and chapter 20 verse 10 all talk about the beast and the false prophet. The dragon, Satan, the beast, and the false prophet.

Now, we notice that this second beast rises up out of the earth, not like the first beast that rises up out of the sea. This rises up out of the Earth. Literally, the term Earth means the land, and that's why some Bible commentators have speculated that the false prophet, the second beast, is Jewish because the land often refers to the Holy Land, the land of Israel. So the Antichrist then, they say, rises up out of the sea of nations, the Gentiles, which is often emblematic in the Scripture of Gentile nations we discovered last time. But that the false prophet could be Jewish.

Moreover, notice his description. He has two horns like what? Like a lamb. This is a kinder and gentler beast. This is different from the first beast rising up out of the sea with seven heads and 10 horns. This has two horns like a lamb, but when he speaks he speaks deception. He speaks like a dragon.

Notice also, there's no crowns on his head like the first beast. And that is because his authority is not political authority. It's not governmental authority. This is spiritual authority. His primary role is to deceive people into a worship system. Notice it says, he deceives those who dwell on the Earth by signs that he is granted to do in the presence of the beast.

So his primary deception, or his primary role is deception. His primary means of that deception is by miraculous signs. And his primary incentive-- get this-- is the economy, because the economy will be so bad-- we've already discovered-- during that time millions, even billions of people will die on the Earth through a number of things that happen, including starvation.

People's vulnerability will be at an all time high. They will be willing to do anything if it means feeding their families, their children, et cetera. And so the incentive behind this is that you cannot buy or sell unless you take a specific mark. We don't know how that's going to turn out exactly. It could be much like the city requires a chip to be placed in your pet so they can keep track of it and tell the history of it. That could happen with humans.

Now, for years, prophecy buffs and Bible commentators have all thought that the empire that will rise at the end of days-- the revived Roman Empire they have said-- is probably going to happen in Europe, and they have even said with the European Common Market, the 10 nations at one time. Now, there are many more coming and going in the Common Market.

But for years, people have looked for a leader to come, a secular leader, out of the European nations because they say geographically that was the old Roman empire, the continent of Europe. But let me suggest a different direction and a different way to look at that this morning. When we talk about the revived Roman Empire, here's what we have to discover-- that whole idea came about with a vision that Nebuchadnezzar had in Daniel chapter two. Remember, he saw the polymetallic image-- head of gold, chest of silver, stomach and thighs of bronze, and two legs of iron, which represented the Roman Empire, the Roman Empire that ruled the world at one time.

But then, there were 10 toes of iron and clay, and they say that is the revived Roman Empire, just like the 10 horns that are mentioned in Revelation-- 10 toes, 10 horns. We can see the similarities. However, just like there were two legs on that statute that did speak of the Roman Empire, did you know that the Roman Empire like the legs split in 395 AD? That there was an eastern branch, as well as a western branch of the Roman Empire? And that the Western branch died out pretty quickly, but the eastern branch lived on for another 1,000 years, and its headquarters was Constantinople, modern day Istanbul, Turkey.

Now here's something else to realize. When we talk about the Roman Empire that ruled the world, including Israel, et cetera, Europe, et cetera, what most people don't realize is that 60% of the Roman Empire at the time of Jesus Christ-- the time of the New Testament-- 60% are lands that are today occupied by Islam. Most of the land mass of the Roman Empire today is occupied and controlled by Muslims.

Now, I understand something. It is not fashionable, first of all, to even talk about this in church. It is certainly not fashionable or politically correct to talk about this in the public square. It is fashionable to lump all religions in one little basket and say they're all the same. And whether it's Christianity or Judaism or Islam, it's all the same God with a different name, and it's fashionable to get the coexist bumper sticker and stick it on your Subaru and happily go down the road.

However, what is fashionable is not always Biblical. And I think we need to not only look at the Bible, but look at what's happening around the world at this time in our history and make a different suggestion. Do you know that today there is an Islamic revival like never seen before? And do you know that the revival in this country-- conversions to Islam-- have gone up and up and up since September 11, 2001? It's quadrupled.

Before September 11, 2001, 25,000 Americans every year converted to Islam. Since 9/11, over 100,000 Americans every year convert to Islam. Those are the going rates. Islam will pass Christianity as the world's largest religion in less than 20 years. According to one source, one half of all global births will be Muslim by the year 2055.

Now, as you look at the news-- I hope you do look at the news. I hope you read it. I hope you listen to. Have you ever wondered things like why am I hearing so much about Islam? I guarantee you have heard more about Islam in the last decade or five years even than you have your whole lifetime. And you wonder why. Why am I hearing so much about it? What's really happening in the Middle East? What's this deal with ISIS? Are they done yet? What's this idea of a caliphate I hear about?

I want you to listen very carefully to what I'm about to say, and listen carefully to the news that is coming out because you may be looking at the future. Now, that's what we know. We know what we have just stated-- Antichrist is coming, false prophet is coming-- we don't know when, don't know who. Let me give you a second category. This is what we're told.

This is what we are told by the fastest growing religion in the world-- Islam-- about the end times. Did you know that Islam has an eschatology? Let me back up. Do you know what an eschatology is? Eschatology means the study of last things, the doctrine of last things or end time events. We have an eschatology. The Bible tells us what's going to happen in the end of days.

Did you know that Islam has an eschatology? Most Christians really don't know much about Islam, and few Christians know little or nothing when it comes to Islamic eschatology. They have an end time scenario. Lately, that eschatology has been leaking out on the news with events like San Bernardino, California, and Brussels, Belgium, and Paris and ISIS beheadings. And now this talk about a caliph and a caliphate.

By the way, the caliphate is a real deal. There's a land occupied by ISIS today that is larger than Great Britain. It is controlled by them, and it is growing in that part of the world.

So Muslims look at you Christians, and they have a name for you. Well, they have several names for you. But one of the names-- the polite name-- for you is you are people of the book. We are people of the book. Jews and Christians are called by Muslims, respectfully, people of the book, because we hold to the Bible, the Old and the New Testament. So we are people of the book.

However, our books have been corrupted. The Old and New Testament were original words that have been corrupted by Jews and Christians, so thus, the only reliable source of revelation is the Quran. And Muslims have two sources for their authority. The Quran, which they say are the direct words of Allah. And second is the Sunnah, sometimes called the Hadiths.

The Sunnah are the words and the works of Mohammed the prophet. So between the Quran, the words of Allah, and the Sunnah, the words and works of Muhammad, they develop their authority for everything. According to Islamic theology, they see the end of days as being ushered in by three great signs, three great signs. And all three are in the form of a person that is coming, three persons.

The first sign, the first person, they say is the Mahdi, the Mahdi. M-A-H-D-I, if you're taking notes. The Mahdi is equivalent to the Messiah. The word Mahdi means the guided one. He is also called the awaited Savior, the Lord of the age, and the 12th Imam. What will the Mahdi do? What will their awaited Savior come to do?

This is what he'll come to do. He'll set up a new world order, an Islamic caliphate, that is civil, political, and spiritual. He will lead a world revolution to establish Islam throughout the world, throughout the world. They want nothing less than world domination.

And what if we refuse? What if anyone refuses? Here's their source. Quote: Mahdi will offer the religion of Islam to the Jews and Christians. If they accept it, they will be spared. Otherwise, they will be killed. End quote.

How will the Mahdi do this? Through a massive army called the Army of Black Flags and a series of holy wars with this army carrying black flags. He will lead the Army of Black Flags to conquer Jerusalem and kill the Jews. This is all their writings. Then he will establish rule, erecting black flags in the Temple Mount at Jerusalem. And they call the Temple Mount Haram al-Sharif. That is where he will set up his headquarters.

The black flags have one word written across it. Punishment. It's interesting-- is it not-- that not only does ISIS carry the black flags, but the Iranian army carries the black flags? Both are waiting as all Muslims in any form have an anticipation that someday the Mahdi will come. Now, here's what's amazing, the Mahdi according to them will make a peace agreement with the Jews and the West, whom they call Romans. And what's most amazing is the time frame for this peace agreement. Just take a wild guess. Seven year peace agreement.

They say the Mahdi will come, make a seven year peace agreement with the Jews and with the West, AKA the Romans, and they even have him riding in on a white horse-- their writings say as it is written in Revelation chapter 6, verses 1 and 2. Coming to conquer and conquering. So to sum it up, the Mahdi is a messianic figure, an unparalleled leader, he will take control of the world. He will destroy all who resist him. He will invade many nations. He will enact a seven year peace treaty with the Jews. He will conquer Israel. He will massacre the Jews. He will establish Islamic world headquarters at Jerusalem. He will come on a white horse. He will rule for seven years. And he will be loved by all on the earth. Does that sound familiar? Sounds like what we've been studying. That's the first sign.

The second sign following the Mahdi, is that Jesus will come. Yes, they believe in Jesus. Muslims believe, not only in Jesus, but they believe in the second coming of Jesus. I dare say, far more than some Christians believe in the second coming of Jesus. They believe he will come again. He will return. The call Jesus Isa al-Masih.

They say Jesus will come, but to them Jesus was just a man who didn't die. He didn't die on a cross. That's a myth, they say. Jesus didn't die, and if he didn't die, he didn't rise. And if he didn't die, he didn't make any atonement for sin. So what did he do? He was spared from crucifixion, and he ascended into Heaven like Elijah the prophet and is standing alongside Allah, waiting for Allah to send Jesus back to the earth.

Why would Allah want to send Jesus back to the earth? He's got a lot of prophets to choose from. Why Jesus? Allah is going to send Jesus back to the Earth to correct all Christians who have misunderstood who he is. He's going to come back, they say, as a radical Muslim. Imagine that. Jesus will return as a radical Muslim and help the Mahdi institute Sharia law on the whole Earth. They say he will come back to abolish Christianity. Their words to shatter, or to break, crosses. Why shatter crosses? Why break crosses? Because Jesus wasn't crucified, they say.

They have him coming from Heaven holding the two wings of two angels. He'll descend to a minaret east of Damascus at the time of Muslim prayer. The Mahdi will then ask Jesus to lead the prayer. Jesus will refuse to lead the prayer standing behind the Mahdi to show that the Mahdi is greater than Jesus. They say Jesus will be the greatest witness on the day of judgment against non-Muslims who believe that Jesus was God.

He will also kill-- I'll give you his name, and then I'll explain his name in a minute-- Jesus will kill the Dajjal, the Dajjal. He's written about many hadiths, many writings. The Dajjal is Muslims' version of Antichrist. Then Jesus will get married, have a family, die, and be buried next to Muhammad. That's how it goes down.

So two signs so far-- the Mahdi is coming. Second, Jesus is coming to correct everybody and enforce Sharia laws of radical Muslim. And number three-- the third great sign is the Dajjal is coming. He will try to vanquish Jesus and the Mahdi, and he will try to reign over the Earth. Now the Dajjal's full title is Masih al-Dajjal, which is the Messiah the deceiver written about, as I mentioned, in many different hadiths in the Sunnah.

The Dajjal will come as a miracle worker, a false miracle worker. He claims to be Jesus. He claims to be God. He will attempt to stop the Mahdi, and he will be a defender of the Jews. Well, it's pretty easy to see that the Bible's Antichrist is Islam's Savior. And the Bible's false prophet is Islam's Jesus Christ. And the Bible's returning Christ is Islam's Antichrist.

In the very least, this should be sobering to you. In the very least, this should pique your interest, especially since Daniel chapter 7 said, this coming world ruler Antichrist will intend to change times and law. Times and law. The Muslim documents say that when Mahdi comes, he will throw out all human constitutions, including the US Constitution, and enact a worldwide Sharia law. He will also change all the calendars back to the right calendar, the Islamic calendar following the migration of Mohammed from Mecca to Medina. It's just interesting that the Antichrist intends to change times and law.

So the first category-- what we know from the Scriptures. Second-- what we are told. But let's end with a third-- what we hope. And what we hope takes us back to verse 8 of Revelation 13. I want you to look at it as I read it. All who dwell on the Earth will worship him-- now, watch this carefully-- whose names have not been written in the book of life of the lamb slain from the foundations of the world. Now, that verse implies that even during that time, there will be some who resist the Antichrist and resist the worship and resist this takeover. And their names are written in the book of life. All those who haven't will capitulate. But there will be some who resist.

And just as the devil's plan in the last days is to raise up two men, God's plan throughout history is to give the world one man. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life. And that was God's plan since creation. Notice at the end of verse 8, the lamb slain from the foundations of the world.

And there is a book of life, by the way. I don't know if your name's in it or not. Do you? Do you know your name is in it? You can live with assurance. And one thing you should make sure about above everything else is that your name is written in that book of life. And you know Christian, if you receive Christ, if you come to Jesus, if you're not a believer, your name can be written in the book of life. If you are a Christian, it's already written there. And you can live with the assurance-- you see, the assurance-- that when you die, you're going to be in Heaven because your name is written in the lamb's book of life.

Now, the sad thing is that Muslims live without assurance. Ask a Muslim, do you know for certain that when you die you'll go to Heaven? They can't say yes. They believe in a god that believes in abrogation. He can change his mind from one day to the next if he chooses, so they never live with assurance. There's only one way a Muslim can be assured that He will go directly to Heaven. That's by losing his life in the cause of Jihad. If he does that, in whatever way, whatever even twisted way, that guarantees that Muslim eternal Heaven.

Here's what you need to know, however. Yes, Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, but do you know that there are people around this world in Islam whose eyes are being opened and are coming to Jesus Christ? Do you know here's from one Muslim sheikh who said in Africa alone there are over six million Muslims who have converted to Christ. That breaks down to 667 per hour or 16,000 a day. Many of them who have been illiterate are now starting to understand as the Quran is being read to them in its fullest and the hadiths are being read to them in the fullest, they're seeing the true face of their religion and they're turning to Jesus Christ. I've spoken to many of them in the Middle East.

Now, this is a kind of a message that could either produce fear or faith that overcomes fear. And I hope it will be the latter. Muslims are not the enemy. Muslims are not the enemy. Satan is the enemy, and his lies are the enemy. And how do you fight lies? With truth. That's how you fight lies, with truth. And what is the truth?

John gets a vision of Heaven. And do you remember? He sees people from every tongue, every tribe, every nation gathered around the throne worshipping God, worshipping the lamb. Every nation in my estimation means every nation. I think every means every. It means every Arab nation, every Muslim nation-- there are some who overcome and give their lives to Christ.

A few years ago, Christmastime, a family placed their nativity set out on the front lawn. I don't know if you've ever done that. I had one once. They put their nativity set out on the front lawn. I used to put mine out on the front lawn. It had light bulbs in it. Yeah, I was that guy.

But a baby Jesus got stolen from this family's nativity set. He was quoted in the newspaper by saying, do you know where my Jesus is? Please return him to me. What a statement. Do you know where my Jesus is? Please return him to me. I think the world is crying out, do you know where Jesus is? Return him to me. I think we need to give the world a dose of the real Jesus, the living Christ, living in us, powerful in us, loving through us, living through us, because the false Jesus is coming. The false Christ is coming. And make sure that your name is written in God's book of life, the lamb's book of life.

Father, as we close this service, there's that element of hope that penetrates even the darkest of revelation. You plainly tell us what is happening and what is going to happen. But Father, we hold on to the hope, just like we have discovered our names are written in the book of life, that many others will as well. So Father, we pray for those who don't know Jesus. They might be part of this service. Christianity to them has been a social club up to this point, a pep rally up to this point. It hasn't been meaningful. It has been zeal without knowledge.

Lord, I pray that they will come into an intimate relationship with you. And if you're here today and you don't know Christ personally, right where you're seated, wherever you are at, if you're listening by radio or watching a podcast or listening to one, eternal life can be yours if you simply agree with God that you need Jesus, agree with God that you are a sinner, and that you receive and accept God's payment for your sin if you do that by faith.

So wherever you are, you could say, Lord, I admit it. I am a sinner. I know that, and I'm sorry for my sin. I know that Jesus died on a cross for me. He shed his blood for me. And that he rose from the grave for me. And I turn from my sin. I turn from my past, I leave it behind. You know all about it. But I turn to Jesus to save me, and I want to follow him. Help me to do that. In Jesus' name, amen.

As believers, we know that the only person who deserves our worship is Jesus Christ. How will you share the truth that you've learned from this message? Let us know. Email 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 teaching from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque.

Additional Messages in this Series

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1/10/2016
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What's Next?
Revelation 1
Skip Heitzig
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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
Skip Heitzig
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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
Skip Heitzig
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Message Summary
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
Skip Heitzig
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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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4/3/2016
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The Most Interesting Man in the World
Revelation 13:1-10
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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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4/17/2016
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The Return
Revelation 19:11-21
Skip Heitzig
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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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Message Summary
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.