Revelation Lesson 33: Blasphemy, War, Persecution & the Antichrist
Chapter 13: 5- 10
“And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 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 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. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.”
We live in perilous times. Death is all around us, and the preciousness of life has never been so great. As people who believe the Bible and trust in the person of Jesus as our ONLY HOPE, we are considered to be intolerant and divisive. The truth is hard on those who have lived only in lies. First of all, it is at odds with all that they know; and then, truth calls for change. Humans are not good at change.
The work of the Kingdom of Darkness is all around us, and there are people being prepared who will follow the Antichrist – hook, line and sinker into Hell. Their minds are being prepared to accept absolute lies as truth, their frame of thinking is being framed to come to erroneous conclusions, and their perception of self is being bred to worship the biggest narcissist to ever walk the planet.
When I grew up, second place was nice but not the goal. But in our modern times we have made everybody winners, and that is not real life either here or in the spiritual world. Satan is not going to come in second; God is actually going to ‘red card’ him and kick him off the field of play completely. Yet, the whole world, many of whom have access to the Bible where his demise is clearly explained, will still follow Satan willingly into Hell.
Let that sink in. Are you following Satan willingly into Hell? Or, have you trusted in Jesus as Savior? You must answer these two questions; your eternity depends on it.
One of the most important things to understand about the Tribulation is that of command and control. I bring you once again to the title of the book, the Revelation of Jesus Christ. We spent a significant amount of time talking about the dragon and the beast and the catastrophes of the time, but the Tribulation is about Jesus. Jesus! Keep this in mind.
Notice in chapter 13:5 that the Antichrist is given (by God) a limited time of power, some 42 months. God has complete command and control of the Tribulation; Satan is not ever in control, not even for one millisecond. If we keep this in mind, then we will have a proper view of the book and the events that happen. God allows things to happen for a certain time, for a certain purpose and outcome. God is meticulously overseeing all that goes on, and He is never caught off guard. This is hard to see from our limited point of view here on earth, but the Bible clearly teaches that God is All-Knowing and nothing is a surprise to Him.
Be comforted in whatever circumstances you find yourself in today; the Lord knows where you are, and He is there with you.
Psalm 147:5 “Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.”
Isaiah 40:28 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.”
Isaiah 46: 9-10 “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’”
Blasphemy, verse 6
Blasphemy is defined as the “act of speaking sacrilegiously about God.” Another clearer definition that was given is this: “the act of insulting or showing contempt or a lack of respect for God.” This last definition is more of what we see today, and it is preparing the world of the Antichrist.
Most people, and maybe even Christians do not have a genuine ‘fear’ of God – a genuine respect for the position and the power of God. The world around us and, sadly, many of the churches around us have mistaken the grace of God for weakness, they have mistaken the meekness of Jesus for weakness, and they have mistaken the forgiveness of God for apathy to sin. This idea that masculinity is toxic is an affront to the Lord God. God is identified in the entire Bible as a He! He shows himself to us as masculine. Jesus came as a man and is a man. The apostles were men. God calls men to lead their homes and their churches. He calls men to stand and be accountable to Him.
I just saw an interview where a religious leader was touting that his denomination was going to rewrite the Bible and make it more inclusive, removing the ‘He’ attributes of God. We have the ‘Queen James Bible’ available at Amazon. Many times, Jesus is portrayed as somewhat effeminate. One previous President of the USA, one who claims to be saved and is a Sunday school teacher in the church he attends, recently claimed that God would be okay with abortion and with same-sex marriage. Folks, this is blasphemy. This is a lack of reverential fear for the Lord God. The youth of today are being prepared for the Antichrist with the irreverent shows, music and speakers.
I recently heard that a prominent preacher made an illusion to the Ten Commandments being outdated. Righteousness is never outdated. It is funny how Jesus referred to the Ten Commandments in the New Testament, validating them into the operation of the New Testament church. Jesus talked about adultery, murder, honoring your parents, loving God wholeheartedly, coveting, and on and on.
It is sad when these things happen. But we can see that the blasphemy is coming even from inside what appears to be a part of the New Testament church. In complete opposition to what this ‘pastor’ says, we see these words from Jesus in Matthew 5: 17-19:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore, anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
What a contrast to what we hear from mere men! Jesus tells us that He did not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to establish them. There is such a push in the New Testament church to ‘love your neighbor’ that they forget the ‘love the Lord your God’ part. You can only love your neighbor to the extent that you love God. Commandments 1-4 are the call to love God wholeheartedly, and Commandments 6-10 show us how to love our neighbor, beginning with our parents. The two are complimentary and cannot be separated.
Be wary of those that blasphemy God, whether they claim to be Christians or if they are atheists. A lack of proper reverence and respect for God leads to open rebellion against God. People begin to speak lies about God and nasty things about God, questioning His goodness and His rightful place as our Creator to whom we will have to answer.
War, verse 7
Within the permission of God, the Antichrist is allowed to make war with the saints in the Tribulation. People from every nation and language on earth will worship the Antichrist, and he will make life very hard for those who claim that Jesus is God.
As we see here, clearly there will be redemption in the Tribulation because there are enough saints to warrant a war against them. Of course, there will be millions of Jews that repent and call on Jesus; there may be some Gentiles who trust Jesus as Savior as well. It is with these that the Antichrist begins to make war. He will be ruthless and pitiless. They will have nowhere on earth to hide. He will make their lives a living hell. Torture, imprisonment and the like will go on, and there will be no safe places. In Matthew 24:9-10, we see these dire warnings:
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.”
In Luke 21:16, we see this sad state of affairs in the last days: “You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you will be put to death.”
One’s own family will be so beguiled by the Antichrist that they will betray them to the authorities, knowing full well that they will be tortured and/or killed.
Even now, the war on Christianity is on and in full swing. There is a hatred for Christians that is so tangible that you almost taste it in the air. People who have swallowed the lies, hate the truth. And we, God’s people, are seen as the enemy because we believe and teach the truth. It is so amazing that in the Western world we have made the truth illegal. There was a time when telling lies was illegal.
We have celebrities like Celine Dion pushing the transgendered agenda with her new baby clothing line. You do not have a choice as to which gender you are; God makes you as either a male or a female. You don’t get to choose. You simply are. Man is trying to be God, trying to rewrite the rules that have governed us for 6,000 years and trying to change the fundamental principles of Creation. Lies, no matter how big or how frequently told, will never become the truth. So, the best way to keep a lie is to eradicate the truth tellers; that is us—the Christians, and our Bible talk.
The war is on, and you are in it if you are a child of God. Too many churches and pastors are not preparing the new converts or the seasoned Christians for the escalation of persecution. It is on, and will continue into the Tribulation. The Antichrist will be worshipped by ALL the lost and despised by the saved. He will demand loyalty or death. There will be no in-between.
Control, verse 9-10
God is in control. I need not say anymore, but I will. Some will go into captivity and some to death, but all under the watchful eye of the Lord who is in complete control. This is hard for us to understand. Why would God let this happen? He has a plan and a goal. Our job is to submit. We are called to patience and faith; trust the Lord and His plan even if it means death and imprisonment.
Surely, God will intervene and we will not be harmed; look at the three Hebrew men in Daniel 3. Or Daniel in the Den of Lions, Daniel 6. But we should not depend on this. I know there are songs and movies, and we love the idea of the Hero coming to save us. I love that too. But we are clearly told in the New Testament by Jesus that we will suffer. Too many are looking for the abundant life void of suffering, but Jesus promises us the abundant life in spite of suffering. In John 16:33, we see this clearly spoken:
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
You will have tribulation – simply put, trouble in this life – but we are encouraged to “take heart,” be faithful and patient. The Lord is with us and in control even when we are being harmed and/or killed. God is in control. I cannot say this enough.
Look, folks; let’s be real. I do not want to see my wife and daughters raped or hurt or killed; I do not want to be hurt or killed. No one is signing up for that. BUT if this is the will of God for us and for His glory, we will have to put our trust in Him and His plan and be patient and faithful in these trials. We forget that the three Hebrew boys did not know if God would save them. They knew He could, but were not sure that He would; yet, they determined to obey God.
Daniel 3:16-18 “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
Sadly, we are here at this time. We are like the three Hebrew men/boys, and the idols are the gay agenda and the gender agenda; and we are called to bow down and toe the line. But, we must stand for God’s truth. And for that, some of us are going to die. Be patient and be faithful; God is in control.