Revelation 039 – The Coming World Ruler (Part 2)

Dr. Andy Woods | May 19, 2019 | Revelation 13:3b-5 | Revelation

Andy Woods

The Coming World Ruler (Part 2)      5-19-19

Revelation 13:3b -5       Lesson 39

Good morning everybody.  As the children are being dismissed to Junior Church let’s open our Bibles to the Book of Revelation, chapter 13.  The title of our message this morning is The Coming World Ruler (Part 2).  Of course as you’re turning there we had a great time yesterday evening, kind of a commemoration for Justin Compton who is graduating high school and is getting ready to go to college.  So let’s give Justin and his family a hand.  [clapping]  And pray for them as they are in a transition time.  I think Justin works in our AV both, is that him up there?  There he is, way up there, look at that!  Thank  you Justin for what you do.

We are continuing our study through the Book of Revelation.  We’re sort of in a section of the book where the trumpet judgments have been unleashed on planet earth, as we have studied.  And as typically happens about five times in the book there’s sort of a pause in the action.  The chronology stops to give more details.  There’s about five times in the Book of Revelation where this pause takes place, and that’s where we are—we’re in the longest pause in the action!

Chapters 12-14 which essentially are Satan’s reaction to what is happening in the program of God.  The interesting thing about Satan is he doesn’t take defeat lying down.  He fights tooth and nail every step of the way and with the seventh trumpet the announcement was made concerning the coming kingdom of Christ.  This is the kingdom that will be manifest on planet earth in Revelation 20:1-10, the thousand year kingdom.   Satan is working in history to stop that kingdom from coming.  And so chapters 12-14 basically is what Satan is doing as a countermove to what God is doing.

Chapter 12 as we have studied, is the time period where Satan, after being evicted from heaven, really begins to pursue the woman or the nation of Israel for forty-two months.  Essentially what he’s trying to do is he’s trying to gobble up Israel because he knows that through Israel the kingdom will come and in his darkened mind he tries to eradicate Israel so that the kingdom cannot come.  It’s really a fascinating chapter and it explains the [blank spot in tape] people throughout the ages.  Of course that hatred is going to reach its fever pitch in the tribulation period, particularly the second half.

Chapter 12 blends into chapter 13 where we run into the two human instruments that Satan is going to use during this very, very difficult time. He’s using two entities called the two beasts. We have the first beast, that’s what we’ve been studying last week and then this week, and maybe next week, chapter 13:1-10.  That’s sort of what we would call a political beast.  This is what some would refer to as the coming antichrist.

And then secondly in the chapter, we won’t be getting there today, is the second beast, chapter 13:11-18, sometimes called the false prophet, and that’s the religious person that Satan will use during this very terrible time.  Now I’ve got an awful lot of questions on that picture there that I have at the bottom and people want to know what that means and all this kind of stuff.   And I wouldn’t read too much into that, basically to let you know how this process works I had some space to fill [laughter] and so what do you do when you have space to fill?  Well, you type in antichrist into your search engine and you pick the best image that comes up.  So I don’t know, it kind of looks like an antichrist doesn’t it?  That’s about  as deep as this goes so don’t spend too much time analyzing that picture.

But the first beast, chapter 13, verses 1-10, and there’s about 13 points in time we’re going to work through related to this first beast.  First of all, his sudden appearance we saw in verse 1 last week.  The reason the beast shows up at this particular time in John’s story or John’s vision, he’s given us glimpses of the beast before in a couple of places but here’s our first full-blown treatment. Why now?  Well the answer is Satan has been evicted from heaven; the last privilege that he had going into heaven not to worship and serve as a high ranking angel as he once did but to communicate and accuse.

As we have studied that privilege is taken away at the midpoint of the tribulation period.  The moment the antichrist desecrates the temple is the moment that privilege is taken away and Satan now plummets to the earth because the earth is really the only domain he has left.  And he actually, I believe, at this point begins to indwell the beast much like he indwelt Judas to prevent the first coming of Christ and Christ’s first mission to die on the cross, to resurrect from the dead.  In other words, Satan thought he could kill off Christ prematurely but God had a surprise for Satan, didn’t He?   And Satan is now indwelling another person, the beast, the first beast, and he’s trying to assert  a world government over the entire planet, which we’ll read about today.  And in the process  he’s trying to eradicate the nation of Israel so that the kingdom can never come to the earth.

We also saw last week the beast’s Gentile ethnicity.  I tried to make the case that the first beast will probably be Gentile although there’s a pretty good argument to be made that the second beast will likely be Jewish.  And we think the first beast will be Gentile for many, many reasons, one of which is he comes up out of the sea, verse 1, and when you study that imagery of the sea it’s speaking of the vast mass of Gentile humanity.

And then the third thing John points out is how this first beast will begin to fulfill many of the ancient prophecies spoken of by Daniel all the way back in the sixth century B.C.  And now you kind of see the method to the madness.  That’s why we studied Daniel first and Revelation second, Daniel being the basement or the foundation, the Book of Revelation sort of being the ceiling.  Two very important pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that have to be brought together to understand exactly what is going to happen in the end times.

We noticed that this beast has ten horns and seven heads; the ten horns being that ten nation or ten king confederacy that the antichrist will preside over one day that will govern the entire earth.  We also saw not only that ten king confederacy but it also mentions here not just ten horns but it mentions here, verse 1 and a little bit into verse 2, the seven heads.  Ten horns, seven heads!  It’s interesting that each head has on it verse 1, a blasphemous name.  [Revelation 13:1, “And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names.”]

And I think to interpret that correctly you need a little bit of help from other parts of the Book of Revelation, like Revelation 17:9-10, which says, “The seven heads” associated with the beast, “are seven mountains on which the woman sits,” now don’t worry too much about the woman at this point, the woman rides the beast, we’ll be talking a lot about the woman when we get to Revelation 17 and 18.  But here we’re focused on the beast, these are entities on the beast.  “The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, [10] and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come;” and it is a fact that when you trace Israel’s history she has had seven, five past, actually six past from our perspective, one future, seven entities that have tried to destroy her.  The final kingdom of the antichrist being sort of the composite of this anti-Semitic hatred that extends all the way back to the Old Testament.  That’s why when you look very carefully at verse one it says these seven heads had blasphemous names on them.

So who are these seven heads?  They’re seven kingdoms that  the antichrist is a composite of.  First there was Egypt that took the nation of Israel into bondage for four hundred years in the Book of Exodus followed by Assyria that scattered the ten northern tribes in 722 B.C. followed by Babylon, Babylon of course being that entity that took the nation into captivity for the seventy years followed by Persia that overthrew Babylon.  Persia, of course, you remember the wicked King Haman, under the Persian reign that developed a plot to exterminate the Jews. Persia was followed by Greece and that’s where we have that great conflict that takes place between the testaments that we studied, so many of Daniel prophecies related to this conflict where Antiochus Epiphanes of the Grecian Empire desecrated the temple and persecuted the Jewish people.  Greece was followed by Rome.  Rome, of course, crucified our Lord (as you know) and it was under Rome that the Jews were finally evicted from their land about forty years after the time of Christ, in A.D. 70.  And some way, somehow this cultural inheritance of ancient Rome comes back to life.  Some way, somehow it covers the whole earth.  It becomes divided amongst ten kings and that’s the entity that the antichrist, Rome phase two, will preside over in the end times.

And so that’s sort of my best understanding of the [blank spot in tape] a contemporary ten king confederacy followed by these seven heads, each head containing a blasphemous name.  And then if I haven’t lost you already I’m bound to lose you here because it mentions there in verse 2 four animals.  It mentions a leopard, a bear, and a lion.  [Revelation 13:2, “And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.   Now these are the various empires that would trample down the nation of Israel during the times of the Gentiles.  Daniel had some specific prophecies about Israel.  He prophesied a specific era of time when the nation would have no king reigning on David’s throne.  In fact, when the last Davidic king, a man named Zedekiah, was removed from his throne the times of the Gentiles started during the time of the Babylonian captivity and that lion, bear and leopard and terrifying beast that followed would be in order, first Babylon, then Persia, then Greece, and then Rome.

And last week we sort of tried to explain in verse 12 of Daniel 7, it says, “As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.”  So yes, it is true that Persia overthrew Babylon but the system of Babylon continued to live in Persia.  And it is true that Greece overthrew Persia but the Babylonian and the Persian system continued to exist in Greece.  And it true that Rome politically overthrew Greece but the religious system of Babylon and Persia and Greece continued to live in the Roman Empire.  So it’s sort of like just everything keeps getting passed down through the [can’t understand word]  chain and what’s bad never gets really eliminated.  And it keeps getting passed down and passed down and passed down until it’s absorbed in a composite sense by the first beast.

The first beast, in other words, will be like Babylon (but worse) because he’ll also have absorbed within it the Persian system, the Grecian system and the Roman system.  I’m always trying to come up with a sermon title and unfortunately one just occurred to me as I’m up here talking so it’s too late to put it on the computer, but maybe a good sermon title would be called The Badest of the Bad.  That’s what the antichrist is, He is the badest of the bad, having absorbed everything that’s wrong with paganism into his composite world government of the future.

Then we move into verse 2 which gives us the source of the beast’s power.  The second part of verse 2 very clearly tells us that the reason the beast is so popular and the reason he’s able to do what he can do is he’s directly empowered by the devil himself.  Now we’re going to have a lot more to say about that when we get down to verse 4 but one of the things that Satan gives the beast the ability to do, moving down to number five, is he will actually raise the beast from the dead.   You say well where in the world are you getting this from?  I’m getting it from verse 3 and notice what it says concerning the beast.  “I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed.   and the earth,   And the whole earth” not just the earth, “the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast.”  [Revelation 13:3]

What in the world is happening here?  There’s a lot of difficult issues to talk about when you get to verse 3 because it talks here about one of the heads of the beast, not the beast as a whole but “one of his heads” seems to be injured to the point of fatality and comes back to life.  And so one of the key issues is this an individual resurrection or is this some kind of national resurrection, because we’ve already studied that the seven heads represent what?  Seven what?  Seven kings, five have fallen, one is, and one is yet to come.  Who were the five that had fallen already?  In our chronology Egypt, Assyria, Babylon and Greece are ancient history.  John makes the point in Revelation 17 :10 that “one is,” now what would that be?  That would be Rome, which was the empire in existence when John received this vision on the Isle of Patmos at the end of  the first century.  Revelation 17:10, “and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come;”]

And then if we’re understanding this correctly there’s going to be a Rome phase two.  Somehow politically the worldwide empire of Rome comes back to life and falls into the beast’s hands.  Nobody would have ever thought such a thing could have happened. Everybody has decided that Rome is just ancient history and when the whole thing comes back to life the world is going to be astonished by that and that’s why it talks about the fatality of one of the heads of the beast.  The heads represent these seven anti-Semitic kingdoms.  I would interpret that resurrection as a political resurrection, the resurrection of ancient Rome.  You know, political leaders are sort of followed because of their ability to perform great exploits.  You look at the leadership that took us out of the great depression or maybe out of World War I or World War II, there were some national catastrophic events and how people are hailed and heralded because of what they have done, because of their peace, because of their exploits.  Think about how the world will be astonished when the entire empire that everybody though was dead and gone comes back to life and the beast presides over it.

So is this an individual resurrection or is this a national resurrection of some kind?  I would have to say that first and foremost it looks like it’s national to me because it’s very clear in verse 3 that it’s not talking about the beasts  head.  It’s very clear in verse 3 that it’s talking about one of the beast’s heads and we’ve already studied Revelation 17:9-10 who those various heads represent.  But then you keep moving through the chapter and you come to verse 14, which we’re not even supposed to cover today but I have to talk about it, and it says this.  “He” that’s  the false prophet, “deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given to him to perform in the presence of the beast.”  [Revelation 13:14, “And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.”]  The false prophet is sort of like Ed McMann, you guys remember the Johnny Carson show, “Herrrre’s” what? “Johnny,” and so the false prophet is sort of like an Ed McMann, he’s saying “Herrrre’s the beast.”  I’m sure it would be a little bit more attractive than the way I’ve just described it.

But his whole function is to draw attention to the first beast and it says, “And he deceives the world and those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast” now notice that “the beast” is singular, we’re no longer talking about a nation, we’re no longer talking about one of its heads, what it actually says is “an image to the beast,” that’s a person, “who has a wound of the sword and yet has come back to live.”

So this is talking about not a national resurrection, as we saw back in verse 3, this is talking about an individual resurrection of a person, of a man.  And as we tried to teach very clearly last week don’t lose sight of the fact that the beast is a man.  In fact, if you drop down to verse 18 it says, “Here is wisdom, let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast for that number is that of a” what? “a man,” the noun anthropos, singular.  We’re dealing with a person here.  He’s called the beast not to dehumanize him or to pretend like he’s not an actual person, but to bring out his beastly character.  And of that beast, of that man he apparently received some kind of fatal wound of some kind, we’re not told exactly what it is, it is an assassination attempt, is it a suicide attempt? We’re not really told, but he receives in his body, in his person a fatality of some sort and he seemingly overcomes the grave and resurrects from the dead.

So is this a national resurrection or an individual resurrection, and I’m seeing both here.  Is this an individual resurrection or a national resurrection, my answer to that would be yes!  National, verse 3, individual, verse 14.  And you can see how the world would be drawn to such a person who (A) not only has pulled off a political miracle but has actually come back from the dead.  Now unfortunately (pardon the pun) we’re not out of the woods yet, because there’s a big debate here concerning the individual resurrection of the beast—is that a real resurrection?

Let me kind of give you some background on this to explain to  you the way I was taught this from some of the greats at Dallas Seminary.  My professor in seminary was a man named J. Dwight Pentecost, I went to Dallas Seminary because I wanted to study under him.  I was worried that he was going to die because he was so old, we figured out why they gave him the name Dr. Pentecost, we thought he was probably there in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost… and so everything he taught I took, I knew he wasn’t going to rise from the dead and so my very first class I enrolled in at Dallas Seminary was a class that he was teaching called Daniel—Revelation.  And then I looked at my transcript and I said well, I’ve got three units in Bible exposition, I don’t want those three units to go to waste, I’d better declare my major in Bible exposition.  So probably more than any other person that is alive today or has passed on J. Dwight Pentecost has influenced the way I think on so many issues.

And the way he explains the resurrection of the beast is as follows.  He said it’s not a real resurrection, it looks like a resurrection, it’s a fake resurrection but it’s not the real thing.  And he went back into the Book of Exodus, remember the Book of Exodus and  the ten plagues, remember what happened in those ten plagues?  Number one, water to blood, Exodus 7:21-22.  And what does that say?  “ The fish that were in the Nile died, and the Nile became foul, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile. And the blood was through all the land of Egypt. [22] But the magicians of Egypt did the same with their secret arts; and Pharaoh’s heart was ]hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said.”

So the first plague happens and Pharaoh gets his gang together, presumably operating under Satanic powers and duplicates the exact same miracle.  Then came plague number two, the frog, Exodus 8:6-7, “ So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the]frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt.”  But, verse 7, “The magicians did  the same with their secret arts,]making frogs come up on the land of Egypt.”

So the first two miracles that God performed in Egypt relative to these ten plagues are duplicated by Satanic power.  No extra charge for this but this is one of the problems of moving into an experiential based spirituality.  A lot of people believe something is true because they’ve had an experience.  And to be honest with you, if you’re dealing with someone that’s had an experience it’s virtually impos­sible to talk them out of that experience because many times they’ve had the experience but here’s the deal—just because you’ve had an experience does not make that experience of God necessarily.   We can see Satan here giving all kinds of experiences. So when people come to me and recount their experiences in God I always say that’s very nice but have you followed the command in 1 John 4:1 which says to test the spirits.  [1 John 4:1, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”]

Have you tested the experience relative to God’s Word, because if there’s anything in your experience, for example like the experience that Joseph Smith had, a visitation from an angel, which started the Mormon religious system.  Or an experience like Mohammed had, a visitation once again from an angel which started Islam.  Have you taken those experiences and have you tested them by Scripture because not all experiences are necessarily from God.  And this is the advantage to being a student of God’s Word, you have the capacity using the belt of truth and the sword of the Spirit and the helmet of salvation to test every single thing that comes into your life by God’s truth.  If you don’t know much about the Bible the only thing you’re left with is some experience and who knows there that experience has come from, maybe from God, maybe from the devil himself.

But you’ll notice that these first two miracles are replicated by Pharaoh’s magicians, and everything changes with the gnats, plague number three in the Book of Exodus.  What does it say there?   Exodus 8:17-19, “They did so; and Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff, and struck the dust of the earth, and there were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats through all the land of Egypt. [18]  The magicians” watch this now, “tried with their secret arts to bring forth]gnats, but they could not; so there were gnats on man and beast.” Sounds like a hot summer in Houston quite frankly.  Verse 19 says, “Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.”   And so the way this resurrection being not a true resurrection was explained to me as Satan cannot create life from non-life, and he couldn’t do it with the gnats, therefore Satan cannot raise the dead and therefore that is sort of viewed as a presupposition an assumption or a preunderstanding for interpreting Revelation 13:14, they would say it looks like a resurrection but it can’t be a true resurrection because Satan can’t bring back life from death, it’s an impossibility for Satan.  [Revelation 13:14, “[Revelation 13:14, “And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.”]

And so that’s sort of the explanation that I have related to this passage that I believed for many, many years.  Not only was it the great J. Dwight Pentecost that taught it this way but you’ll see this type of thinking in the Revelation commentary from another great in the faith, John F. Walvoord.  Walvoord says this concerning Revelation 13:14, “Another plausible explanation is that the final world ruler receives a wound which normally would be fatal but is miraculously healed by Satan.”  I’ve got the relevant part here underlined. “While the resurrection of a dead person seems to be beyond Satan’s power,” why does he say that?  Because that’s what the Book of Exodus apparently teaches, so he’s taking a conclusion from the Book of Exodus and reading it into the text of Revelation 13.  “While the resurrection of a dead person seems to be beyond Satan’s power the healing of a wound would be possible for Satan, and this may be the explanation. The important point is that the final world ruler comes into power obviously supported by a supernatural and miraculous deliverance by Satan himself.”  [John F. Walvoord, “Revelation,” in Bible Knowledge Commentary, ed. John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck (Colorado Springs, CO: Victor, 1983), 961]

A miracle is fine, Walvoord says, but not a true authentic resurrection, not a dead person that comes back to life.  And so for many, many years I looked at Revelation 13 and I said it’s not a true resurrection.  But isn’t it interesting that when you get [small blank spot in tape] the biblical text will rewrite your assumptions many times if you’ll let it.  And this is the problem with coming to the Bible with the same lenses over and over again.  And I know people that are like this, they get upset because they’ve got some little box they’ve created, they think it’s true and they give God absolutely no room to come into their box and change things.  The last time I checked God is called the living God, and God, if you let Him will change your assumptions many, many times.  And then it becomes sort of a crisis of truth, what is going to govern what the Lord is showing me here is it going to be my old way of understanding or is it going to be something fresh or something new that the Holy Spirit is showing me through His Word?

And this was sort of the case with me as I began to look at this passage and I began to say I love John Walvoord, I believe in 99% of the things John Walvoord teaches.  J. Dwight Pentecost is my mentor but after all those two men as important as they were in my life are not apostles, are they!  My ultimate authority used to come from the Word of God.  And please don’t leave Sugar Land Bible Church saying Andy says this and Andy says that because I’m not who’s important here.  What’s important is God’s Word.  I’m just a fallible human finite interpreter and sometimes we get almost Roman Catholic in our interpretation, because it’s an interpretation that comes from the text, may disagree with some giant of the faith that we’ve loved in the past.  And the moment you take a human teacher and elevate them over the Word of God it’s essentially what Roman Catholicism does where it buries the Word of God in manmade traditions.

So let’s take a fresh look here at Revelation 13:14, notice what it says. “And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.”  Now by this time I’m sure you understand that the Bible was not written in English.  The NKJV version or the NASB version or whatever version you like, some of you might like the NIV version, we would call  you NIV positive and we would try to talk you out of that at some point, but a lot of people think the Bible was written in English.  It was NOT written in English, it was written in Greek, the New Testament, the Old Testament primarily in Hebrew.  And what then is the Greek word for “came to life”?  It’s the verb, I’ve got it there in brackets, [zaō].”  That’s all it says, he was injured by the sword and he came to life zaō.”

And now start tracking how that verb is  used, not in some remote part of the Bible but how it’s used in the Book of Revelation. Did you know, for example, that that identical verb is used to describe the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead?  Did Jesus rise from the dead?  Of course He did, we believe that.  And notice what it says in Revelation 2:8, “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:” “come to life to life” is zaō which is the identical verb used in Revelation 13:14. [Revelation 13:14, “And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.”]  Isn’t that interesting.

And when you slip over to Revelation 20:4-5, which talks about the final resurrection for the believer, this is what it says: “ Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life” this is the resurrection of I would think tribulation martyrs, Old Testament saints, at the beginning of the millennial kingdom and how is that resurrection described.  By the day, do you think one day you’re going to get a resurrection body?  Do you think it’s going to be a real body?

Are you looking forward to that?  If you’re not you’d better look in the mirror because you need one and I need one, Amen!  “…they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”  That’s the same verb, zaō.  And then there’s actually going to be a resurrection of unbelievers at the end of the thousand year kingdom. What does it say, [5] “ The rest of the dead did not come to life [zaō] until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.”  Also referred to by John in this  vision with the Greek verb, zaō.  So if zaō is literal in Christ’s resurrection and if zaō is literal in the final resurrection of the saved and the unsaved then why would I switch horses in midstream?

Why would I say it’s literal there, and it’s literal over there, it’s literal at the beginning of the book, it’s literal at the end of the book but I come to Revelation 13:14 and this antichrist coming back from the dead, I mean, that scares the living daylights out of me, that can’t be true, so I interpret the verb differently than how it’s used everywhere else in the Book of Revelation.  And you see, this is the problem with the J. Dwight Pentecost, John Walvoord interpretation of this verse is they’re doing things in reverse.  They’re figuring out what Satan can and can’t do ahead of time, they’re getting mentally settled on that point and once that becomes an assumption in their minds then that becomes the grid through which they interpret Revelation 13, “Beloved.”  That is not how you do theology.  You don’t figure out what your theology is first and then you come to the Bible to try to make the Bible support your preexisting theology.  Your theology is only as good as the text from which it comes.

And so this began to shift the way I thought about this and I began to say you know what, I think this is an actual bodily physical resurrection from the dead by the dragon to the beast on equal par with Christ’s resurrection itself.  Now once you start saying that you’d better have your helmet on because here come the attacks.  And there is a man who is called THE Bible Answer Man, isn’t  that a humble title?  He doesn’t call himself “A Bible Answer Man, he is THE Bible Answer Man, and his name is Hank Hanegraaff and he had what I thought early on was a very good ministry called The Christian Research Institute, there are still maybe some helpful things you can find in this ministry, but he went on a blistering attack against Dr. Tim LaHaye, of The Left Behind series, for simply articulating the view that I’m articulating here, a literal resurrection of the antichrist.

And in my doctoral dissertation I was working on eschatological issues and so I had to read every-thing I could on my eschatological subject and so I was forced to read Hank Hanegraaff’s book called The Apocalypse Code.  And in all honesty in my lifetime of reading books I have never seen a book like this that is mean spirited and acrimonious and vindictive and done in such an un-Christ like spirit as that particular book by Hank Hanegraaff, The Apocalypse Code.  In fact, Tim LaHaye is mentioned in the book 300 times, and Hanegraaff tries to make Tim LaHaye into a cult leader, tries to tie him to Charles Darwin, not understanding that it was Tim LaHaye that gave Henry Morris the whole idea of a young earth creationist movement.  And it’s just attack, attack, attack, attack, attack, attack, and one the things he says in the book is Tim LaHaye is a heretic.

If I disagree with him on a point that would be fine, but when you call someone a heretic that becomes very, very serious.  And Tim LaHaye of course is a heretic because he believes that the antichrist literally came back from the dead by Satan’s power.  AND after all, Hanegraaff said if Satan can perform a real resurrection here in Revelation 13 then the resurrection of Jesus is fake too,  Satanic, not of God.  How would I answer that?  I mean, if this is an actual resurrection orchestrated by Satan how in the world do I know that Jesus’ resurrection, 2,000 years ago was also not similarly orchestrated by Satan.  And there’s an answer to this.  The answer to it is 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 which talks about a restrainer in the earth.  And you know what restrains him, I think the restrainer to make a long story short is the ministry of the Holy Spirit through the church,  [6] “And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed.”  That’s the antichrist. [7] 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.”

Satan, as I speak, has handcuffs on him; he has an awful lot of power but he can’t do everything he wants to do.  And you see, one of these days that restraint is gone.  I believe the removal of that restraint will be the rapture of the church to heaven and suddenly the handcuffs are off the devil, he has free reign, he can exert all of his powers, event things that he couldn’t do for the last 2,000 years of church history, including bringing back someone from the dead.  Something Satan I don’t think can do today but once the handcuffs are off he’ll have that ability.  And once we move into the tribulation period we’ve moved over to a brand new… can I use the word “dispensation” where the house rules change.  And now you’re living in an age of time when the restraint is gone, the church is in heaven, the handcuffs are off the devil and he’s able to do things he’s never been able to do in our world in that tribulation period.

Satan could not have resurrected Jesus from the dead in the current dispensation, but he will have the power to resurrect the beast from the dead once the handcuffs are off in Revelation 13.  I hope you understand something about Satan.  He’s a created being, he certainly does not have the power that God has but given his created capacity and the way the Lord made him as an anointed high ranking cherub he has an awful lot of power.  He can’t reduplicate what God has done but he can do an awful lot of things that look very godlike to me.  And if I’m reading Revelation 13:14 and words mean anything I would say that this is an actual physical bodily resurrection of the beast from an actual death.  And this becomes the explanation as to why the whole world is mesmerized by this.  The political miracle has been pulled off, and now an individual resurrection has been pulled off and you can see how the world would just be stunned by this, staggering.

You know, you think of a man like John F. Kennedy and his assassination in broad daylight.  Could you imagine the impact that that man would have had on the world in terms of his popularity if suddenly he came back right out of the grave on day three?  I mean, I don’t think he’d ever lose another election after that one.  And this is basically what’s happening with the antichrist.  And John, through Greek words, is explaining this to us.  Now if the thought bothers you and if the thought scares you that’s find, it scares me a little bit as well.  But that does not give me the right to rewrite the Bible because it doesn’t fit into my box.  My box has to be constantly challenged and adjusted by what the biblical text actually says.  And as much as I’ve tried to understand what the biblical text actual says is an authentic real resurrection.

And so we move from His resurrection into His power based adoration.  Notice verse 4, “They worshipped the dragon because he gave his authority to beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?’” I mean, this beast, this antichrist has come on the scene and fixed so many problems,  he’s the rider on the white horse, Revelation 6:1-2.  [Revelation 6:1, “Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.”  [2] I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.”]

He’s been one that’s one that’s come forth in the first seal judgment.  He is the one that’s even fixed that thorny difficult problem in the Middle East, the nation of Israel and their neighbors.  They’re both existing side by side in harmony, thanks to the art of the deal that the antichrist has  pulled off.  And perhaps the Jews have their temple functioning and the Muslims have their Dome of the Rock and the world is singing Kumbaya, and they’re holding hands across America and the world, everything’s been fixed.  And he seems to have so much power and so much ability that the world itself is mesmerized by this man and begins to follow after him.

And that’s what we’re really interested in with people, aren’t we, in our natural selves.  We’re interested in their power, we’re interested in what they can do.  I mean, if someone wants to run for President of the United States today they’d better have a long list of actual accomplishments and the richer they are the better…amen, because that’s America.  By the way, I voted for the current President, I don’t want to make it sound like I didn’t vote for him.  I’m just saying that the mindset out there that we like power, we like skill, we like ability, and we seem to like everything except what God likes.  You know, in our first session this morning we confirmed our new church leadership, elders and deacons.  In fact, you voted on that process, if you want to know what the qualifications for elder and deacon are read 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 1-7 elders, 8-13 deacons, and you know what you’ll never find on that whole long list of qualification?   You won’t find a single word about anybody’s power, anybody’s accomplishments, anybody’s resume, what they have done, what they have produced.

[1 Timothy 3:1-13, “It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. [2] An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, [3] not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. [4] He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity [5] but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), [6] and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. [7] And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.  [8] Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, [9] but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. [10] These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. [11] Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temper­ate, faithful in all things. [12] Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. [13] For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.”]

It’s all about character, isn’t it.  We have a tendency to value a lot of things that God doesn’t particularly value at all.  In fact, in 1 Samuel 16:7 who would have thought that David would have been the king to be anointed as the second king of Israel.  The father, Jesse, didn’t even bring out David, too small, too little, too ruddy.  And what does it say in 1 Samuel 16:7, “But the LORD said to Samuel when David was finally brought out, “Do not look at his appearance…,” you get that?  Everybody fell in love with Saul because of his handsomeness and his height.  That’s how the world system thinks, we want height, we want power, we want accomplishments, we want effectiveness and things that we can see.  But what does God say?  “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees” watch this now, “for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks” where, “at the heart.’”

And I can guarantee you in this unsaved, unregenerate world after the church is removed falls in love with the beast, they’re not looking at the heart.  In fact, if they looked carefully at the heart what would they see?  They would see a heart that’s beastly; that’s why he’s called the beast, they’re looking at his power, they’re looking at his resume, they’re looking at his financial resources, they’re looking at his effectiveness, they’re looking at his accomplishments.

And then as you look at verse 4 a funny thing begins to happen.  It says, “they worshiped” who?  “the dragon,” who’s the dragon again?  Isn’t the dragon Satan, we’ve explained all that haven’t we.  If  you don’t think the dragon is Satan just jot down Revelation 12:9 and Revelation 20:2.  [Revelation 12:9, “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”  Revelation 20:2, “And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;”]

“They worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast and they worshiped the beast saying ‘“who is like the beast, who is able to wage war with him,’” we love the beast because of what he can do.   And we finally figured out where the beast’s power is coming from; it’s coming from the dragon (or Satan himself) and so the world at this particular time in history falls down in worship to Satan.

If I’m understanding my Bible correctly overt, naked, unhindered, unrestrained, worship of Satan himself will characterize the last days.  Not worship of Jesus, the creator of heaven and earth, the worship of the devil, the nemesis, the antagonist of Jesus Christ.  Isn’t it interesting how our world today is being set up for that.  Isn’t it interesting how things that were once considered taboo, the paranormal, is it not interesting how those things are being mainstreamed today?  Psychic hotlines, horoscope readings, palm readers, fortune tellers, Ouija boards.  You know, there are people in this world that won’t make a single move until they consult their horoscope, every single day?  Paranormal mainstreaming is what I would call it.  And I’m one of those kind of guys that like those criminal investigation shows.  I can’t tell you how many countless shows are now on the air today where they can’t solve the crime and so they tap into some psychic somewhere to help them solve the crime.  If you talked like that 20 years ago, 30 years ago, 40 years ago, 50 years ago, that’s crazy talk; no civilized American would mainstream that type of activity.  Today it’s completely normal.  And what we’re being prepared for, I believe, is the worship of the dragon, which will take place in the tribulation period itself.

I am so anti paranormal I’m even nervous around those fortune cookies.  [Laughter]  And by the way, you notice every time you open up a fortune cookie it always says something good about you?  It never says you’re going to be hit by a car three days from now.  And by the way, I keep opening these things up thinking it’s going to say help, I’m stuck in a fortune cookie factory, send help.  But these are things that are sort of subtle things that we enjoy.  But it’s all psychological conditioning for this worship of the dragon which will exist in the end times.

And then we move into his oratory and what a speech this guy can put together.  If you look at verse 5, notice what it says there, “There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, [and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.]” [Revelation 13:5]  You know, it’s sort of interesting that when you study the doctrine of the antichrist as he is revealed in Scripture, do you know what the Holy Spirit draws our attention to over and over again?  His mouth, how he [small blank spot in tape] what he says.  Daniel 7:11 talks about his boastful words.  [Daniel 7:11, “Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.”]

Daniel 7:20 talks about a mouth uttering “great boasts.”  [Daniel 7:20, “and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts and which was larger in appearance than its associates.”]

Daniel 7:25 says, “’He will speak out against the Most High [and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.]”

Verse 8 again talks about Daniel 7, a mouth uttering great boasts.  [Daniel 7:8,  “While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts.”]  And you think of the great leaders and dictators in world history that are able to sway the masses with their oratory.  I think of those poor souls in Cuba.  On closed circuit single channel television, watching the dictator, Fidel, go on and on and  on and on and on and on and on an oratory, and how if you listen to some of the testimonies of the Cuban citizens, how they early on fell in love with the vision that Castro had for that island, just based on how he talked.   And it turned out that that island is a living hell hole.

Have  you notice, by the way, that when people flee Cuba they’re always getting in these sort of rickety boats and traveling from what it is, Havanan to Miami, basically 90 miles in sometimes very rickety boats, sometimes not even boats, sometimes just pieces of board, plank, etc. traveling shark infested waters with the hopes of reaching Miami, the United States of America.  Have you ever noticed that people in America don’t get on these rickety boats and go the other way to Cuba?  I say that tongue in cheek because we’re told by the left that Cuba’s got the greatest health care system on planet earth, universal health care, single payer.  I mean, if it’s such a worker’s paradise over there why are they getting in these boats trying to get out?  Why aren’t people trying to get in?

And I hope you understand, I’m not trying to go patriotic on  you but you’re living in one of the most blessed countries this world has ever seen.  How do I know that?  Because the whole world is trying to get in here.  In Iran, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, it’s the exact opposite, they’re trying to get out.  And you wonder how the Cuban people could have fallen for initially this vision of Fidel Castro and it’s related to how he talked, it’s related to his oratory.

Now we’ve had a President in modern times, not particularly this one but go back a President or so, and I was just absolutely stunned the number of people that I thought were very highly intelligent, highly educated, who voted for him, not once but twice.  Now this is a bit personal, I’m sometimes talking about people from my own extended family.   You should see some of our family reunions, what a war zone those can turn into!  Educated people, intelligent people, smart people, voting for this man twice.  And I say why would you do it?  You know what their answer was, from some of the smartest people I know?  We liked the way he sounded, He sounded Presidential!

And what I’m saying is our world is set up to follow people based on their rhetoric and how they sound.  And  you see that very clearly in verse 5 where it mentions the oratory of the beast, “There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies.”  [Revelation 13:5]  You know, the Bible has a lot to say about the tongue, doesn’t it?   “Hung by the tongue” as I like to call it.  If you want to be convicted read James 3:1-12.

[James 3:1-12, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. [2] For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. [3] Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. [4] Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. [5] So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.  See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! [6] And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. [7] For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. [8] But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. [9] With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; [10] from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. [11] Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? [12] Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.”]

It’s all about how we talk and how we communicate and how our words need to be God honoring because after all the Book of Proverbs tells us that [blank space in tape] is found in the tongue itself.  You can edify or destroy in any environment you’re in, family, work environment, church, just based on how we talk and what we say.  In fact, there’s one judgment I am so grateful that I’m not going to be involved in because it says this, the Lord says, Matthew 12:36, “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.”  I read something like that and I say wow, I’m glad I’m clothed by the righteousness of Christ, I would hate to be evaluated by everything in my life that’s come out of my mouth.

You say well, pastor, you know, I have a tongue problem, how do I get that under control?  Well the issue is you really don’t have a tongue problem, you have a heart problem.  The tongue, the only thing it is, it’s a window to the heart!  You know exactly what’s coming out of someone’s heart just based on what they say. If  joy, gratitude, wisdom, comes out of the mouth that’s what’s in the heart.  If bitterness, anger, jealousy, vindictiveness comes out of the mouth that’s what in the heart.

I like the way the late Adrian Rogers put it, “What comes up in the bucket went down in the well.”  Jesus said in Matthew 12:34, “You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.”   And how this beast can talk. In fact, we’re told here in verse 5 he’s going to utter blasphemies and he’s going to utter arrogant words.   [Revelation 13:5, “There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.”]

Now, go back to verse 2 just for a minute, who’s empowering the beast?  The dragon.  Go back to verse 4 just for a minute.  Who is empowering the beast?  The dragon.  I think at this time the dragon is actually inside of the beast.  Satan is possessing the beast.  So when the beast is actually talking it’s not really the beast’s words,  it’s the devil that is energizing his thoughts and his verbiage.  And you say well, come on pastor, that doesn’t happen in history, does it?  Here’s a quote from a book by Erwin W. Lutzer, longtime wonderful pastor of Moody Memorial Church.  He wrote a book called Hitler’s Cross. 

On page 83 he says this: Earnest Pretzsche…introduced him [Hitler] to a psychedelic drug that produced clairvoyant visions and heightened spiritual perceptions. In this way he was empowered to perform the deeds that he believed fate had decreed”  Hitler in other words. “Even those who knew Hitler from his early days were well aware of his occult powers. August Kubizek, a friend, said,” I’ve got the relevant part underlined, “‘It was as if another being spoke out of his body.…”  You see that?  “It was if another being spoke out of his body….  It was not a case of a speaker being carried away by his own words…I felt as though he himself” that’s Hitler, “listened with astonishment and emotion to what broke forth from him.’”  [Erwin W. Lutzer, Hitler’s Cross: How the Cross Was Used to Promote the Nazi Agenda (Chicago: Moody, 2016), 83.]

You see, in world history Satan, I don’t think necessarily possesses people like this but his demons can… and do!  And in fact when they talk it’s really not the person talking at all, it’s the demon inside of him.  And if the beast is directly being empowered by the dragon himself, if in fact the dragon is possessing the beast, what is happening is the beast’s tongue is being used as an instrument of Satan and he is able to sway the masses simply through religious political oratory.

You’ll also notice verse 5, and I’m afraid this will be about as far as we get today, verse 5, towards the end of the verse notice what it says there.  “…and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.”  Forty-two months, that’s interesting; you’ll find that expression in Revelation 11:2.  [Revelation 11:2, “Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.”]

Sometimes forty-two months is a synonym used, different words, same meaning, one thousand two hundred and sixty days.  You’ll see that in Revelation 11:3 and Revelation 12:6.  [Revelation 11:3, “And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”  Revelation 12:6, “Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.”]

Sometimes you’ll see this expression, as in Daniel 12:7 and Revelation 12:14, “a time, times and a half a time.”   [Daniel 12:7, “I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed.”   Revelation 12:14, “But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.”]

“A time” is a Jewish year, “times” (plural) is two Jewish years, and a “half a time” is half a Jewish year.  You add that up according to my old math that comes out to three and a half years.  These are all synonyms being used by the Holy Spirit to describe either the first half period or the second half.  The whole tribulation period is seven years.

But we’re told, Daniel 9:27 that there’s going to be a desecration of the temple by the antichrist midway through, which takes that number seven and divides it in two and so the Holy Spirit uses these different synonyms, sometimes drawing your attention to the second half and I believe that what is being described here is the second half of the tribulation period when Satan is actually inside the beast, the handcuffs and the shackles have been completely taken off, Satan is allowed to perfectly express himself and he’s given that authority for forty-two months.   [Daniel 9:27, “”And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”]

If  you want a parallel passage on this you might recall Daniel 7:25.  It  says, “’He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time,” the second half of the tribulation period.

And I want you to see one thing here in verse 5, “There was given to him,”  see that, at the beginning of verse 5.  Revelation 13:5, “There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.”]  The beast only has his authority because God allows it.  I want you to understand something about evil, and this is a part of the Christian worldview that you can’t find in any other worldview out there. To my mind and my knowledge this is something unique to the Bible.  Evil is finite; there was a time in history when evil did not exist, Genesis 1 and 2.  There will be a time in history when evil will not exist, Revelation 21 and 22.  If you want to know what’s normal in the mind of God study the first two chapters of the Bible and the last two chapters of the Bible.  Everything in-between is an abnormality because evil came into our world through the rebellion of the creature towards the Creator.  And the whole of human history is how that evil is going to be taken out and restored to God’s original intention and His original design.

Now if you talk to an evolutionist, you know evolution, from the goo to you by way of the zoo over billions of years where there has been this relentless survival of the fittest, the strong killing off the weak over billions of years (and they call that progress).  You start to think about that and you start to say they’ve always believed in evil and it will always be.  If you talk to a reincarnation person that thinks if they are good in this life they’re going to come back in the next life as some exalted being.  By the way, everybody I’ve talked to that believes in reincarnation they always talk about how in their former life they were a king or a prince or something, they never tell me how they were a janitor that worked minimum wage.

But you just keep getting recycled from one phase of life to the next and you say to yourself, well, they must believe in a world view where evil has always been around, it never ends.  Not so your Bible!  Evil is on a leash and in fact at the height of evil where the handcuffs have been taken off the devil he only gets forty-two months.  You say well pastor, forty-two months, that’s a long time.  Really!  Compare that to God’s kingdom, for “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace… forevermore.”  [Isaiah 9:7]

Are you looking forward to that?  Compare that to the end of our prophecy chart where the Second Advent of Christ takes place leading to the thousand year kingdom.  And people are sort of confused about this because they the kingdom is only a thousand years.  No, no, no, the kingdom being a thousand years is the front doorstep.  Once you open the door and move into the building itself you move into the eternal state which will last for how long?  Hint—it’s called eternal state; it never ends.

You know, you look at life like this, I know many of you are going through difficulties and you look at your problems and you think it’ll never end.  This health problem will never go away.  This relational conflict I’m in will never end.  This financial downturn that I’ve experienced will never be over.  And then  you’re reminded of prophecy; you’re reminded of God’s blueprint for the end of the age.  And  you learn that what you’re experiencing now is a temporary abnormality.  What does that give to the Christian that no other worldview gives to anybody?  It gives you hope!  You say well pastor, you sound like a pessimist, all of this talk about a beast and a new world order.  Folks, I’m a flaming optimist because of the Christian worldview that I have, that evil is bound, evil is finite, evil is not on a leash, and in fact in the time of history where Satan gets to do whatever he wants he only gets forty-two months, which pales in significance to the coming kingdom of God.

And you may say to yourself, well how do I get into this kingdom?  It’s really simple, it’s what we call the gospel, which means good news.  You know, when you travel abroad your passport is everything; if you lose your passport you’re in a lot of trouble.  Your passport gets  you in, your passport gets you out.  How do I get into this kingdom that’s coming?  What is the passport?  And there’s only one way in.  It’s not through your own righteousness!  It’s through what’s called transferred righteousness, imputed righteousness, positional righteousness, where God the Father takes the righteousness and the holiness of God the Son and in a nanosecond transfers it to your account and God looks at you just like He looks at Jesus.  If you don’t have that righteousness I don’t care what kind of passport you have, you ain’t getting’ in!  Neither am I!

And how do you get this imputed transferred righteousness of Christ?  You receive it by faith; you can’t receive it any other way.  Faith means trust, it means reliance, it means dependence, you hear a proclamation of the gospel, Christ crucified, resurrected and ascended, you learn that Jesus did everything that He could do to bridge the gap between fallen humanity and a Holy God, and the moment you hear that the Spirit convicts you of your need to trust in that message and that God for your eternity and the safekeeping of your soul.  It’s that simple.  It’s not a matter of walking an aisle, joining a church, giving money to the church, doing five handstands, doing gymnastics, getting on the religious treadmill, (which by the way the treadmill is not a bad idea, just not the religious one) .

You receive what Jesus has done for you because Jesus says “It is: what? “finished!”    You receive that by faith and just like that, Martin Luther called it “the great exchange,” the great change is in the moment of time, the moment you trust in Christ your unrighteousness is exchanged for His righteousness.  Imputation, transferred, not self [small blank spot in tape]  transferred righteousness is the only way in and our exhortation here at Sugar Land Bible Church if you’ve never trusted Christ to do it right now in the privacy of your own mind and thought as the Holy Spirit places you under conviction.  It’s something very simple to do.  It’s so simple to do that even a child can understand it.  All of the good works that man throws in are just manmade things that don’t belong. We’re not talking about here about man’s systems, we’re talking about [blank spot in tape] and then you find  yourself on the winning side of history, you have hope, and  you’re headed for a period of time where evil is going to be taken out of the world.  And even as you walk through the difficulties of life now you  have someone to walk with you in the person of Jesus Christ in a relationship with Him.  I really can’t think of any better offer, can you?  So if it’s something that you need help on or need some more information on I’m available after the service to talk.

Shall we pray.  Father, we are grateful for this section of Scripture and the great truths that it speaks to us.  Help us to be good [small blank spot in tape] block  these things out by way of faith this week. We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory.  We ask these things in Jesus name.