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The Spirit of Antichrist (Part 5)

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Part 15 of 20: The Enemies We Face

By Derek Prince

You're listening to a Derek Prince Legacy Radio podcast.

Description

Derek turns to the book of Revelation to look at the Lion, who is the Lamb, to contrast Him to the Antichrist who is identified as a wild beast. He then comments on the work of the beast on earth with most of humanity worshiping him, and how he will persecute the saints.

The Enemies We Face

Transcript

Going on:

“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.”

There is a sort of false resurrection here. I don’t know whether this person will be assassinated; he will apparently be dead and he will return to life. What would have happened in America if John Kennedy had come back to life after his assassination? There would not have been many people that would not have sold themselves to John Kennedy. Going on, verse 4:

“So they [that’s the people of the earth] worshiped the dragon [Who’s that? Satan.] 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?”

That’s the fourth title: the beast, the wild beast. It is a word in Greek that means a wild creature, an animal of prey, such as a leopard or a lion or one of those.

Now in Revelation there is a very deliberate contrast between two persons. The wild beast, who is Satan’s ruler; and the Lamb, who is God’s ruler. And I think it is very important for all of us to bear this in mind in our spirit that we do not cultivate the nature of the beast, but we have to cultivate the nature of the Lamb. You see, when the Holy Spirit descended in the beginning of the ministry of Jesus and looked for somebody to settle on, what nature did He look for? The Lamb, that’s right. John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God,” and on Him the Holy Spirit descended. I think this is one of the great issues that concerns every one of us. Because in the world today it is so competitive, it is so intense, people are so extreme and violent that it is pretty easy to let the nature of the beast begin to infiltrate us. But what God wants in us is the nature of the Lamb.

Let’s look at a little picture of the Lamb in Revelation 5. We could read quite a lot but we probably won’t read too far. Beginning at verse 5. John had had this vision of a scroll in the hand of God and there was no one who was found worthy to open the scroll. So John was weeping.

“But one of the elders said to me: Do not weep but behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals. [This is dramatic, really, because John was looking for a lion and what did he see:] And I looked and behold, in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures and in the midst of the elders stood a Lamb as though it had been slain.”

So the lion is a lamb. That is a deliberate contradiction. So God’s appointed ruler does not have the nature of the beast. He has the nature of the Lamb. And He is highly exalted above all others because He laid down His life. Because He humbled Himself. Because He went the way of meekness, humility, because He did not resist His arresters and His persecutors and I really believe that the church in these days is going to have to display the same nature. And I don’t believe it is easy.

I suggest to you this: It is not a popular suggestion. I think the church may go home the same way as her Lord, by the way of the cross. I think we’ll conquer. As the hymn says: “When we are weak, God’s strength will be made perfect in our weakness.” I believe that is a lesson we are going to have to learn. And there is a lot of teaching in the church today that talks all about we can do; in all our power and all that faith can accomplish, but I believe it really is inflating the natural man, the fleshly nature, and that nature has to be crucified before we can enter into God’s purpose for us.

We could go on with the worship of the Lamb but I think you can read that for yourself. Let’s return now to Revelation 13 and just look, have a glimpse at a few parts of this description. We have seen that they all worshipped the beast. And they all were convinced it was hopeless to make war with the beast.

Now who knows what will be brought about, but suppose a world ruler came to power, who accumulated all the nuclear weapons and no one else was allowed to have any—well, nobody would make war with him. It would be suicide even to contemplate it. I’m not saying it will happen but what I’m trying to point out to you is the situation that is pictured here could be very close.

“Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme Him, His name, His tabernacle and those who dwell in heaven.”

He is the open challenger of God. He is not a secret enemy, he shakes his fist in the face of Almighty God. And again we have a kind of attitude like that that is very close to us today.

“And it was granted to him [By whom? I presume by God. A frightening thought]... it was granted to him to make war with the saints.”

Who are the saints? I suppose that’s us, I hope it’s us. And yet when I say I hope it’s us, it’s kind of an ambiguous hope, isn’t it? I mean, I want to be a saint but do I want the beast to make war with me? Now, you may have to choose between two options.

“It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.”

See, I want to instill into your thinking that Christianity is not all easy victory. In fact, I think, in a sense, included in our faith is the willingness to be apparently overcome, defeated, but not really defeated.

You see, Jesus cares very little about the opinion of this world. Have you ever thought about that? What was His last public appearance? As a corpse on a cross. And He has never sought to correct that appearance, and He has never reappeared, except to people who believed Him. How much do we care about the opinion of the world? Do we care more than that? Paul said:

“God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of Jesus Christ, by which the world is crucified to me and I to the world.”

Let’s go on a little further:

“All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the book of life and the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

That is a dramatic statement. The whole human race will worship Him except those whom has God chosen for Himself, whose names have been written in the Lamb’s book of life from the foundation of the world.

Then we see this other very sinister person, whom we’ll just glance at briefly here. The second beast. We are going on now in verse 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.”

He appeared to be a lamb but he had really the voice of a dragon. I believe this is a religious person. Generally speaking, he is called the false prophet. And I believe that false religion is going to align itself with the false Messiah. And I suggest to you that this is already happening. For instance, in China, where the official Three Self Movement, under Bishop Ding at the present time, has aligned itself totally with the atheistic communist government and is the main persecutor of the real Christians. I think very much the same happened in Soviet Russia, where the head of the Russian Orthodox Church totally endorsed Stalin and is now having an embarrassing time deciding what to say about it.

See, I believe that the political ruler will appreciate the importance of religion and will co-opt religion in its false form to support his power.

“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.”

We have no time to go into that further, but notice the false trinity. The ancient church in the Middle Ages that used Latin, used to say Diabolos sinios Dei, “the devil is the ape of God.” He really never comes up with anything totally new. All he can do is to make a bad copy of what God has done. But there is a false trinity, you see. Satan, the beast, and the false prophet. And they produce an image which in a sense is a false church.

Let’s go back to 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 quickly in closing. And we go back to that key verse, verse 3.

“Let no one deceive you by any means. For that day the coming of the Lord will not come unless the falling away comes first and the man of sin is revealed.”

Now, as I said, the word “falling away” is a Greek word from which we get he English word “apostasy” and its primary meaning is a deliberate rejection of revealed truth. I suggest to you that we are surrounded by apostasy in the world today. All through the centuries there have been church men and church leaders who have been wicked, immoral, covetous, but they have not openly denied the great basic truths of the Christian faith. In fact those truths have been the means they used to support their power. But in this century, starting I think probably in Germany, we have today church leaders, official representatives of the churches who have denied all the great basic truths of the Christian faith: the deity of Jesus, His virgin birth, His atoning death, His physical resurrection and His coming again. And many of them have occupied and do occupy positions of honor and authority in the professing Christian church. In Britain, as you know, I think two-thirds of the bishops of the Anglican Church have basically aligned themselves with those statements, made originally by the Bishop of Durham. I’m not aiming at anybody, I’m simply pointing out, this is a feature of this century which I don’t believe existed in any previous century. I believe that we are already confronted with the apostasy. And you see the church is the bulwark against error. So Satan has to penetrate the church before he can break through with his error.

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