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Daniel and Revelation
The Powerful Delusion;
The Blasphemous Lie of the Antichrist
The world will be terrified. They will rally around the Antichrist
as he blasphemes God and those in the New Jerusalem.
One of the better known attributes of the antichrist is that he blasphemes God and the people living in heaven. It's also known that the antichrist will be a world ruler, and as such, a political figure. He wants the world to like him. Today, if a political figure were to blaspheme God and those living in heaven, it would not do well for his political image. If a politician were to blaspheme God during an election, that alone would cause him to lose the election.
Daniel 7:11 NIV "Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire.
Daniel 11:36 NIV "The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.
2 Thessalonians 2:4 NIV He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
Revelation 13:5-7 A mouth speaking great things and blasphemy was given to him. Authority to make war for forty-two months was given to him. (6) He opened his mouth for blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his dwelling , those who dwell in heaven. (7) It was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. Authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation was given to him.
But what if the New Jerusalem were to appear in the sky and terrify the whole world? There are signs in sun, moon, and stars as we see them in the sky. Massive earthquakes happen and the armies attacking Jerusalem start going mad and attacking each other. Some would say this is a good thing. But most of the world will just quake in their boots. They will be horrified.
How does the world know that the New Jerusalem, which has appeared in the sky, is really Christ and his angels? Most Christians are not expecting Christ to appear in this way. But the two witnesses will be prophesying for 1260 days during the first half of the week of the covenant. They will be unleashing all kinds of trumpet-plagues that will terrify and anger the world. The turning of water into blood is the second trumpet-plague.
Revelation 11:6 These have the power to shut up the sky, that it may not rain during the days of their prophecy. They have power over the waters, to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.
The two witnesses cannot be ignored by the press. The world will hate them as they hate Christ and those living in heaven, which is the New Jerusalem. As the antichrist blasphemes Christ, and the angels living in heaven, the press and the world will rally around the antichrist against Christ and the two witnesses. That's one reason why the world will have such a huge celebration, exchanging gifts, when the two witnesses are killed at the end of the 1260 days. By the way, the beast that comes up out of the abyss is the first beast, the global ruler. He is not the false prophet (Revelation 17:8-12).
Revelation 11:7-11 When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them, and kill them. (8) Their dead bodies will be in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. (9) From among the peoples, tribes, languages, and nations people will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days , and will not allow their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. (10) Those who dwell on the earth rejoice over them, and they will be glad. They will give gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. (11) After the three and a half days, the breath of life from God entered into them, and they stood on their feet. Great fear fell on those who saw them.
I also believe Michael's war in heaven will take place during this time. Some of the heavenly host will be thrown down and trampled. But Satan and his angels will be thrown out of heaven. I believe the New Jerusalem will disappear when the two witnesses are killed. So this is the second reason, I believe, that the world will be celebrating by exchanging gifts.
The church leaders will say the New Jerusalem does not come until after the new heavens and the new earth. So the thing they see in the sky could not possibly be the New Jerusalem. The pre-tribulation rapture has not happened. Other church leaders will say the New Jerusalem in Revelation is purely allegorical or symbolic in nature. So this thing they see in the sky could not possibly be related to Christ's return.
Church leaders will also say you don't have to overcome all your sinful habits because you can't. "Nobody is perfect," they will say. "And if you say you don't sin then you are a liar." So they will call the two witnesses liars who are using their space-alien powers to imitate the trumpet-plagues of Revelation. Many of the church leaders will say that Revelation is not supposed to be taken literally. There is no literal great tribulation. They won't understand that the great tribulation is tribulation for the Church, and not the world. The world will be "eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage" during the great tribulation. And the church leaders who come against the preaching of the two witnesses will really be part of the world. So they won't experience the persecution of the great tribulation. Besides, they will argue, God would not pour out his wrath the churches. So this thing in the sky could not possibly be the New Jerusalem.
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Also, we should not forget about Satan and his demons. They will probably claim to be aliens of a “good” race, and claim that those living in the New Jerusalem are really evil and just want to conquer the earth for evil purposes. They will put an evil spin on Jesus Christ and his angels. They will probably display all kinds of “counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders … that deceives those who are perishing.” All this is the strong delusion of 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 NIV The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, (10) and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing . They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved . (11) For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie (12) and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
The people of the earth will perish because they refuse to love the truth about the hope for the coming city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem. They will say they have faith in Christ (or Muhammad or Buddha), so they must be saved. But the very thing, according to the writer of Hebrews, that Abraham had faith for was the coming heavenly city of God. And they will deny that very faith. They will believe the lie, and so be condemned. They will believe the lie that you don't have to overcome sin in order to be ready for Christ to return. They will be condemned because they have not believed the truth but have delighted in their wickedness.
Hebrews 11:9-10 By faith, he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a land not his own, dwelling in tents, with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise. (10) For he looked for the city which has the foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Hebrews 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
Hebrews 12:22-23 But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem , and to innumerable multitudes of angels, (23) to the general assembly and assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven , to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Hebrews 13:14 For we don't have here an enduring city, but we seek that which is to come.
John 14:2-4 ESV In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (4) And you know the way to where I am going."
Philippians 3:20-21 For our citizenship is in heaven, from where we also wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; (21) who will change the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working by which he is able even to subject all things to himself.
Galatians 4:26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Psalms 46:1-7 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (2) Therefore we won't be afraid, though the earth changes, though the mountains are shaken into the heart of the seas; (3) though its waters roar and are troubled, though the mountains tremble with their swelling. Selah. (4) There is a river, the streams of which make the city of God glad, the holy place of the tents of the Most High. (5) God is in her midst . She shall not be moved. God will help her at dawn. (6) The nations raged. The kingdoms were moved. He lifted his voice, and the earth melted. (7) Yahweh of Armies is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
Psalms 87:1-3 His foundation is in the holy mountains. (2) Yahweh loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. (3) Glorious things are spoken about you, city of God. Selah.
Revelation 3:11-12 I am coming quickly ! Hold firmly that which you have, so that no one takes your crown. (12) He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will go out from there no more. I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God, and my own new name.
Revelation 2:7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. To him who overcomes I will give to eat of the tree of life , which is in the Paradise of my God.
Revelation 21:9-10 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, who were loaded with the seven last plagues came, and he spoke with me, saying, "Come here. I will show you the wife, the Lamb's bride." (10) He carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
Revelation 21:24-27 The nations will walk in its light. The kings of the earth bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. (25) Its gates will in no way be shut by day (for there will be no night there), (26) and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it so that they may enter. (27) There will in no way enter into it anything profane, or one who causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.
Revelation 22:1-2 He showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, (2) in the middle of its street. On this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruits, yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Revelation 22:3 There will be no curse any more. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants serve him.
But how does believing a lie cause someone to be condemned, and to be cast into the lake of fire? When Jesus Christ appears with the New Jerusalem, what happens to those who take sides with the antichrist in blaspheming Christ and the angels living in the coming heavenly city of God? Is it any different than Christ's first coming, for those who saw the miracles of Christ and yet blasphemed the Holy Spirit by saying the miracles were the work of Beelzebub? The word "antichrist" means "against Christ." When you take the side of the antichrist against Christ, you forfeit any hope of salvation that you may have. This is the powerful delusion. Again, the verse says, "They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved." The powerful delusion causes one to come against Christ because they "have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness."
This is the mark of the beast. The mark of the beast might or might not involve a chip implant. But a chip implant in and of itself would not make one lose their salvation. I think it is a literal mark on the hand or forehead. Perhaps it's a tattoo. The only thing that can make one lose any possibility of salvation is to come against Christ. So this mark involves taking an oath to stand with the antichrist and to stand against Christ. With the New Jerusalem appearing in the sky, and the whole world being terrified, this strong delusion will deceive many people. Even church leaders such as pastors, priests, and Bible teachers will be deceived. At the time of Christ's first coming, many of the religious leaders rejected the Messiah. It will be the same at the time of Christ's second coming.
They will believe the lie, and so be condemned. They will say that Jesus is not coming in a space-ship. Jesus is returning in the clouds. And we will be caught up into the clouds to meet him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). This is true. But the rapture does not happen until after the resurrection. "The dead in Christ will rise first," before the rapture (verse 16). And the first resurrection is not until after the great tribulation (Revelation 20:4-5). So they will believe the lie and will continue sinning. They will not listen to the two witnesses who will say that you must overcome sin in order to be ready for Christ's return. They will be condemned because they "have not believed the truth but have delighted in their wickedness."
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 NIV For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie (12) and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
So in a way, it will be like Christ's first coming. Many of the religious leaders will not recognize Christ's appearing. But many will listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches in each of the seven letters to the seven churches. Each of these letters say it's those who overcome sin who are ready. "They overcame [Satan] because of the Lamb's blood, and because of the word of their testimony. They didn't love their life, even to death" (Revelation 12:11). This time, a countless number from every nation, tribe, people, and language will recognize the truth and truly repent of their sins. They will overcome all their sinful habits during the great tribulation and thus be able to stand before the throne of Jesus Christ in the New Jerusalem when he sets up his kingdom.
Revelation 7:9-15 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands. (10) They cried with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation be to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" (11) All the angels were standing around the throne, the elders, and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before his throne, and worshiped God, (12) saying, "Amen! Blessing, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honor, power, and might, be to our God forever and ever! Amen." (13) One of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are arrayed in white robes, who are they , and from where did they come?" (14) I told him, "My lord, you know." He said to me, "These are those who came out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes, and made them white in the Lamb's blood. (15) Therefore they are before the throne of God, they serve him day and night in his temple . He who sits on the throne will spread his tabernacle over them.
There is one other aspect of the strong delusion that is coming. As mentioned earlier, the authors of the Bible did not distinguish heaven from the sky. When they looked up and saw the stars, they were looking at heaven. But in the sixteenth century, when Galileo and Copernicus showed that the earth is not in the center of the universe, heaven became a "spiritual realm" that is outside the universe. Such thinking allowed theologians to continue believing the earth is in the center of God's universe while leaving astronomy to the scientists. This became tradition and was passed down from generation to generation. Today, Bible teachers look at you funny if you say you believe that heaven is the universe. They don't think you believe the Bible.
But what if the authors of the Bible were right and the sixteenth century theologians were wrong? What if the New Jerusalem shows up and the angels say they are from another planet in the galaxy? What if the two witnesses say the New Jerusalem is from another planet? That doesn't exactly sit well with today's theologians who interpret Scripture as if the earth is in the center of God's universe. They would most-likely denounce the New Jerusalem as demonic, and the two witnesses as working for Satan. And since they don't believe the antichrist (or false prophet) will be Islamic, this deception could play right into the hands of the antichrist.