Can you remember back to the last time you heard an old fashioned preaching of future events? Perhaps it was only a few Sundays ago, or perhaps long ago. In any event, I'm sure those Scripture passages probably included excerpts from the book of Revelation.
We see in (Revelation 13:11-18) a biblical picture of the coming false prophet, who is referred to as the second beast. The first beast is the Antichrist. (Revelation 13:1-10) This second beast will do the bidding of the Antichrist.
This prophecy will all take place during the Tribulation period, that seven year period immediately following the Rapture of the Christians. (I Corinthians 15:51-58 (I Thessalonians 4:13-18)
"This man, the false beast, is Antichrist's lieutenant, who will enforce the worship of Antichrist by performing miracles (Revelation 13:13), by making and animating an image of Antichrist (Revelation 13:14-15), and sentencing to death those who disobey (Revelation 13:15), and by requiring a mark on the hand or forehead in order that men may buy and sell." (Revelation 13:16-17)
"His number is six hundred and six-six. Somehow, unknown to us, this number will play an important part in the identification of the Antichrist in a future day." (Revelation 13:18) (Taken from the Ryrie Study Bible)
So, sit back and enjoy this blog.
"Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. (Revelation 13:11-12)
Why did my Bible college seminary Dean Of Bible Theory assign me such a lecture assignment as "Our Unseen War"? And just why did he give this old, worn-out Old Time Religion Bible professor so little time to complete the study? Was he simply testing my ability? Or was he trying to force me into retirement? Maybe I should consider retirement. This new modern world of progressive theology seems to be catching up with me. (II Timothy 4:3-4) Nonetheless, it may just be this last days' apostasy that my preacher has been teaching about. (II Timothy 3:1-7,9,14)
Oh well, I'll give it the old college try. I must get to work now for the gospel. (II Timothy 2:25-26) (II Timothy 4:2)
However, I know how this weekend will go. No weekend golf for me, and no TV football. I should have retired when I had the opportunity. I guess, however, it just didn't feel right at the time.
I'll just get a quick snack, then turn to my trusted laptop and have a go at it. Nonetheless, it just didn't happen that way, as my plans were clearly and divinely changed. I suddenly fell sound to sleep sitting at my desk.
I found myself slap in the middle of a large lecture hall atrium. Moving in a little closer, what caught my eye was an official display of some sort of high tech human microchip GPS tracking system. Its technology appeared to be unbelievable.
What really caught my eye was the large overhead official disclosure or government declaration which read, 'This coded 666 hand/forehead GPS tracking implant will become mandatory in the very near future.' Seems I've heard about this system before. (Revelation 13:16-17) No, it can't be that, I reflected. Or at least I hope not.
Think I'll just go inside and see what's happening, I thought. Once inside the lecture auditorium I found myself standing in the middle of the most unusual modern day lecture hall scene. Its capacity was endless. There must have been millions upon millions of participants. Some were sitting, others simply flying around the room. (Revelation 12:4) This had to be more than just a normal academic gathering, I assumed.
What was so strange about them was that they all seemed to not only shine outwardly, but you could virtually look straight through their bodies. It was kind of like looking straight through a ghostly figure, as if they were all disembodied spirits.
Unlike most down-to-earth folks, this audience gave the impression of being in some sort of hypnotized trance. They were captivated and tuned into the instructor's every word. The entire scene was simply astonishing, to say the least, for a normal human being, although they seemed to be at the top of their game. (I Timothy 4:1-3)
The instructor was someone to behold (Matthew 12:24) for even the best pious-minded thinker. His look too was transparent. You could look straight through him, as well. He must have been some sort of religious leader, as he was wearing a long, flowing, white collared outer cassock and a rather large cross emblem was hanging around his neck. His cassock seemed to shine with a heavenly white glow. (II Corinthians 11:14-15)
Hanging directly overhead was what appeared to be an official sign of some sort announcing the arrival of this special speaker and giving his official title. He was known as the World Government Religious Leader named The Right Reverend Prophet of the Universe. (Revelation 13:11-15)
As he spoke, his speech echoed throughout the entire lecture hall, bouncing off the walls. He spoke as if he had the answers to all of life's problems. (Jeremiah 23:16) (Matthew 8:18)
In front of him was a large monitor screen, apparently proclaiming the lecture agenda. The planned program read like a Sunday morning church sermon outline. (II Peter 2:13)The screen also had an advertisement for the audience to stop by the '666 Booth' on the way out, as they would be assisting in its enforcement later. (Revelation 13:17)
"Just what was this all about?" I asked myself.
As I was contemplating this weird audience, as if by divine motivation, I was suddenly greeted by a most unusual character. He was dressed from head to toe as what appeared to be an ancient Bible warrior. (Ephesians 6:13-20) Not only that, but he seemed to be speaking in the Hebrew language. Being a well-versed Bible history professor, I was able to make out his speech.
"I see you must be somewhat bewildered here, my son, but not to worry. You are simply witnessing what the Bible refers to as an assembly of the demonic hosts of Satan himself, being trained for mortal spiritual combat against the forces of God," (Ephesians 6:12) he said. "But do not worry, my son, for you have the proper spiritual armor of God, (Ephesians 6:17) to withstand the schemes of the devil." (Ephesians 6:11).
"Yes, you and all the saints (children of God) from the very beginning of time throughout all eternity, have the most powerful spiritual weapon known to man, that of being able to make prayerful petition needed to fight this unseen spiritual war." (Ephesians 6:18)
He went on, "You see, my child, we Christians all have the Holy Spirit Who always brings us healing and restoration with our Father, God." (Psalms 147:1-3).
"Satan’s accusations can only temporally keep us away from God. This is why we have God's free grace, and no accusing charge of Satan can ever be held against us. When we repent, God really does forgive us. (Romans 8:31-39) (I John 1:8-9) So, don't you even for a minute worry about this ungodly gathering," he concluded.
"How can I ever thank you, kind Sir? Sir, sir, where did you go? I haven't had the privilege of thanking you," I replied.
Immediately, just as I first mysteriously arrived in this strange bizarre setting, in like manner I was instantly carried away. Disappearing behind was all the impious, ungodly hoopla, and all the excitement an event of this magnitude could muster up. All had quickly vanished. What a dream that was! I had never before had a dream quite like this one, and I hope I never do again.
I now found myself back home, slumped down by my trusted laptop computer. It was somewhat of a miracle as through my window came a large beam of sun light homing in on that laptop.
And appearing on my computer screen, you guessed it, was the complete outline of my upcoming lecture on Our Unseen War. Whew, what a relief! I can't wait for next week's seminar class. Will my Bible students be surprised! I' m ready and willing now. No more retirement talk from this ole Bible professor, at least not for now. I just feel like shouting, Hallelujah!
So, I ask you, my friend. What are you afraid of? Are you afraid of the unseen, or the unknown? Have you taken time today to combat your fears with the truths of God’s Word? (Psalm 119:11)
Once, when I was having difficulty at work, a friend suggested I take the Bible book of Proverbs and read a chapter a day for thirty-one days. Not only should do this, but I should keep a daily journal of the mental keys that would help me overcome my anxiety. I did as he suggested and it worked wonders.
Regardless of our feelings, regardless of our situations, regardless of our uncontrollable impulses (I Corinthians 10:13), we serve a God who has all power over our feelings, over all situations, and even the things in our life that are outside of our control. (Isaiah 44:10) (Psalm 27:1)
As children of God, we are to resist the evil wiles of Satan at every turn, and Scripture is very explicit in speaking to this. We can rejoice because the accuser of the brethren has been cast down and defeated. (Revelation 12:7-12)
You see, for if God be for us, who then can be against us. (Romans 8:28-31) We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. (Romans 8:37) Amen!
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