David Jeremiah - The Beast From The Sea
The Earth. Our home. Studies tell us that from the beginning of time, approximately 108 billion people have called Earth their home, and living on our planet today: just under 7 billion. With this in mind, do you think one man could rule over all the inhabitants of the world? The possibility of such power may sound improbable, but history proves that many men have tried. For centuries, warriors, generals, politicians, and religious leaders have risen from obscurity to garner prestige and grapple for power in an attempt to rule this world. At the age of 20, Alexander the Great set out to conquer the ancient world. The Caesars of the Roman Empire ruled with diabolical shrewdness to ensure all roads led to Rome. Napoleon's drive for military dominion ignited his all-consuming passion to be emperor over all. And Adolf Hitler sought to purge the Earth of those he despised and create a ruling superrace of his making.
But our world today is beyond such blatant maneuvers from maniacal madmen who seek to control all civilization. Our society is too sophisticated to fall prey to the manipulations and cunning of clever leaders who promise peace but deliver utter distress. Right? Wrong. In fact, we have been warned that one day in the future, a man will come on the world scene with the intent that all will worship him and no other. If we take a journey to the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, we can read of this warning and find a description of this ruler in great detail. So who is this madman, this dictator, this diabolical world leader, who, even at this moment, could be preparing his rise to power? The beast from the sea, the Antichrist, an agent of the apocalypse.
When the Antichrist descends on the global stage, the world will be waiting to receive him. Hard to believe? Not really. For even now, if we had someone on the stage waiting to walk out and solve all of the issues that are going on in the war-torn nations of the world, if that person had a workable solution, do you think we would listen? Sure, we would. So would everybody. And one day when things are way, way worse than they are today, such a person called the Antichrist will appear. First of all, we are told about his preparation. In Daniel 8, we read these words: "And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their fullness, a king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; he shall destroy fearfully, and shall prosper and thrive; he shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people".
At the beginning of this period of tribulation, an ominous personality will arise, inconspicuously at first. The Bible says he comes up from among the masses. Revelation 13:1 says: "And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name". In the book of Revelation, wherever you see the word "sea", S-E-A, it usually is not in reference to bodies of water but, rather, large groups of human beings. That's where we get the term "the sea of humanity". When you see that word in the book of Revelation, it's a reference to the sea of humanity. So this Antichrist arises out of the sea of humanity that is alive during this period of time.
His preparation. Notice also his presentation. In 2 Thessalonians 2, we read this about 2, the Antichrist: "Let no one deceive you by any means, for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin", which is another name for the Antichrist, "is revealed, the son of perdition who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped so that", now listen carefully, "he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God... For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed".
Now, when Paul wrote to the Thessalonian churches, he gave us some important information. He said that the seven-year Tribulation period, during which the Antichrist will be revealed, cannot happen until there is a falling away. It is only after the Rapture during the Tribulation that there is a great revival because of the two witnesses and the 144.000. Now, I would just stop for a moment and tell you that there is surely some evidence that this falling away is at least in its beginning stages. All of the statistics I read from George Barna and the other researchers tell me that we are barely holding our own as evangelicals. In his Olivet Discourse, Jesus talked about this. Here's what He said: "Then many will be offended and will betray one another and will hate one another. And many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawless will abound, the love of many will grow cold".
Now, the Bible also says that before this event called the Tribulation can happen and the Rapture, which precedes it, there's one other thing that has to take place. The Bible says that the Antichrist cannot come until the Restrainer is removed. That's what it says in the Thessalonian passage we read a few moments ago. Now, who is the Restrainer? Well, the Restrainer is none other than the Holy Spirit. He's the One who lives within each of us, and the Bible says one day the Restrainer is going to be removed. When will that happen? Well, when we leave, the Restrainer leaves, because He lives in us. The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit will be taken from this Earth when the rapture of the church occurs. When the Restrainer is removed and the lawlessness and apostasy happens, then this one called the Antichrist will be revealed.
Could the Antichrist be alive somewhere today? Absolutely. Because he's not gonna be revealed as a child. He's gonna be revealed as a grown-up. And since we believe the Rapture could happen at any time, and if immediately after the Rapture, the Antichrist is revealed, he could be growing up someplace right now, probably in Europe, and in his preparation for that moment when he will walk out on the stage. Now, what is this guy like? What is the Antichrist like? Well, the Bible, while I've said, doesn't tell us who he is, it tells us a lot about him. First of all, his personality, Revelation 13:5, if you still have your Bibles open there, or look on the screen, we are told that "he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies". Daniel says that he will be boastful and will speak pompous words against the Most High.
Now, take all of those phrases and put them all together and shake them up, and what comes out is, he will be an incredibly gifted speaker. The Bible tells us also that he will be very attractive. Daniel says in Daniel 7:20, that his appearance was greater than his fellows. In other words, he was impressive. Have you ever been in the presence of an impressive person? You just walk into their presence, and, you know, something happens. They walk into a room, and everything changes. I believe he will be extraordinarily handsome. I think he's probably gonna be very tall. The Bible says he's also gonna be a man of great intellect. Daniel describes him as somebody "who understands sinister schemes and, through his cunning, shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule". This is gonna be some kind of an impressive guy.
We wonder how in the world such a thing could happen, but it will, and he will be just what this old, sinful, God-rejecting world will be looking for, someone to make the pain go away and give them some hope. Now, he has a plan. His plan is, according to Daniel, to "come in peaceably and seize the kingdom by intrigue". Very perceptive terms. The Antichrist will begin as one of many minor political leaders, attract very little attention at first, but gradually, grasping more and more power, his plan is to defeat all of the other world leaders and eventually take over the world through whatever means is necessary, first by deceit and intrigue, and later by force. And he will be very prideful. The Bible tells us that he opens his mouth "in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle and those who dwell in heaven".
Once he has the ear of the people and they begin to talk about all of the missing folks who are gone to heaven, the Antichrist will take the opportunity to blast heaven with his words, not only blasting God, but blasting His law and His love and His plan and His family and His Son. And he will just pour out his wrath against the God of heaven. That's what the Bible says. Now, he will use his cunning to form a peace treaty. Daniel 9:27 says: "Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week". Let me just tell you that in the book of Daniel the word "week" here is a week of years not a week of days. This is a week of years. Seven years. The Antichrist will come to the people in Israel, surrounded by their Islamic enemies, and say, "I can fix this. If you will trust me, I will make a peace treaty with you to protect you from all of the enemies around you. This is a seven-year treaty".
Because of the treaty, Israel will once again feel like they can relax. Unfortunately, they will let down their military readiness; they will turn all of their energy into building up their cultural improvements. They will refurbish and rebuild the Jewish Temple. But the Bible says, halfway through the seven-year treaty, Daniel 9:27 says it this way: "In the middle of the week", if a week is seven years, how long is the middle of the week? 3 1/2. "He will bring an end to sacrifice and offering and on the wing of abomination be the one who makes desolate". In other words, right in the middle of the Tribulation, when Israel has let down its guard, the Antichrist will come in, and he will go into the Temple, as we'll see in a few moments. He will defile the Temple, and he will cause the Israelis no longer to be allowed to worship. He will cause sacrifice and offerings to cease.
And then in verse 7, we are told about his persecution. "It was granted to the Antichrist to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe and tongue and nation". Remember, we talked about how he'd gain control over them through his licensing approach. When the peace treaty with Israel is broken, all hell will break loose on this Earth, and this will usher in the last half of the Tribulation, normally referred to as the Great Tribulation. Daniel describes it this way: "I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them" And in 8:24, he said, "He shall destroy fearfully, shall prosper, and thrive. He shall destroy the mighty and all the holy people".
The Bible tells us that at this particular time, everything on this Earth will be as bad as you can ever imagine. Massive beheadings will be nothing compared to the torture and persecution and the hateful conduct of these emissaries of Satan. And how do they do this? The Bible tells us about his power. In 2 Thessalonians 2:9, we are told: "The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders". Powers, signs, and wonders are all words which we ascribe to Jesus, but here we are told these are powers, signs, and lying wonders. In other words, they're not really wonders. They just appear to be. They're deceitful wonders. The Antichrist's deception will be so sweeping that people will be unable to believe the truth.
Then the Antichrist will enact his most sensational feat. It will appear that he has been killed. And then to the astonishment of the whole world, he will be raised back to life by the power of Satan in a grotesque counterfeit of the Resurrection. Revelation 13:3 says: "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 and followed the beast". Please notice the careful wording of the scripture. It does not say, "I saw one of his heads mortally wounded". It says, "I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded". So he deceives the world into believing that he has been killed and then comes back to life. Satan is the great deceiver, but I want to tell you something. He cannot create life. He cannot create anything new, so this is not a genuine resurrection. It is a faked resurrection.
And the Antichrist is so profane. The Bible tells us in verse 4 of Revelation: "So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, 'Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?'" When the Antichrist breaks his treaty with Israel, he will surround Jerusalem with his troops, he will seize the newly constructed Temple, and then as one last mockery of God, Satan will install the Antichrist as a god in the Temple of Israel. At that point, we are told: "All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world". And the false prophet, his associate, will erect an animated image of the Antichrist in the Jewish Temple and enable this animated image to speak.
He will command the world to worship the image, ultimately fulfilling Daniel's prophecy. "When you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet", says Mark, "standing where it ought not, let the reader understand, and let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains". I don't know if you're getting this picture, but this one, this Antichrist, will orchestrate the things of the world until, ultimately, he is placed in the throne room of the Jewish Temple and the whole world is required to bow down to him and worship him as if he were the true God of the universe. And those who refuse will be executed.
Now, that's the story, in so many words, that is a tutorial on the Antichrist, what's gonna happen during the Tribulation when one man rules the world. So what happens to this guy? How does it all end? What is a deserving ending for someone who deceives the whole world into such evil? What should become of him? Well, his punishment, according to Daniel 8:25, is defeat, total and absolute defeat. At the end of the Tribulation period, with all of his armies gathered, he is told that the army of Christ is in heaven and on His way to the Earth. And he assembles all of his armies together to fight against Jesus Christ and the Second Coming. We're told Christ is riding on a white horse, and all of us who are followers of Christ with the angels will be observing this event.
Now, what does Jesus do to defeat this evil man? Well, Daniel says, "He shall rise against the Prince of princes, but he shall be broken without any human means". That's a clear statement that no humanity is gonna be involved in the destruction of the Antichrist. He's coming against Jesus with his armies. Here comes Jesus on His white horse. And John tells us what happens. Revelation 19:19, "And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army". And when the beast comes face-to-face with Christ, he will meet a swift end. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, "The lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and with the brightness of His coming". Do you know how hard it's gonna be for the Lord Jesus Christ to deal with the Antichrist? Watch this. That's it.
Now, he is destroyed, he is defeated, but he is not dead. Revelation 19:20, "The beast was captured and with him the false prophet, who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. And the two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone". Did you know that the beast, the false prophet, and the Antichrist are gonna be the two first inhabitants in the lake of fire? You say, "Well, don't people go to hell now if they don't believe in God"? They go to Hades, or to Sheol. One day, the Bible says, death and hell will be cast into the lake of fire, but not until later. But right now, in the lake of fire, there is an awaiting for this moment when, at the end of this time we've talked about today, the beast, Antichrist, and the false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire forever.
Now, fast-forward 1.000 years. 1.000 years after their incarceration in the lake of fire, we are now at the end of the millennium, the kingdom time. The beast and the false prophet will still be alive and in torment. Here's what we read in Revelation 20:10: "The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever". And the Bible says that all those who ultimately reject Christ will one day join them in this place of torment. Now, guys, I got to tell you, a lot of people are okay until I get to this point. "But don't be telling me about this placed called hell where people are gonna be tormented forever and ever. And I don't like the brimstone and fire thing either. So just don't go there".
Well, I'm not gonna tell you anything that I don't know from the scripture, and I know what the Bible says about hell, "where their worm does not die And the fire is not quenched". Here's what I can tell you. After all my research about this, here's what I can tell you about this place. Are you ready? You don't want to go there. You don't want to go there. And you don't have to go there. The only way you can do that is by placing your faith in Jesus Christ, by saying, "Lord Jesus, I do believe that You are the Savior of the world, and I want You to be my Savior, and I invite You into my heart, and I ask You to forgive my sin, and I confess that You are my Savior". When you make that decision, you get on the invite list to go up to heaven when Jesus comes back.