According to the Bible, the Antichrist and false prophets will lead people away from God in the end times. But those who are willing to go through the years of persecution will ultimately receive the seal of God. City Harvest Church’s senior pastor Kong Hee taught this in the second part of the End Time Realities Bible study.
Last year, Kong Hee conducted a three-lesson series entitled End Time Realities. Early this year, over two weeks, he preached a second series of sermons, expounding on the Antichrist, False Prophet and the Mystery Babylon mentioned in the Book of Revelation.
(Read about part one of the End Time Realities series here)
The Book of Daniel is the Old Testament counterpart of the Book of Revelation, Kong reiterated.
He took the congregation through the basic facts ancient empires are represented by the four beasts in Daniel 7. The lion represented the Babylonian Empire, which is the modern-day Iraq, whose national symbol is a winged lion. The bear symbolised the powerful Medo-Persian Empire, while the leopard represented the swift and cruel Grecian Empire. The “dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong” beast was the Roman Empire.
Daniel 7:7-8 says that the last beast had 10 horns and a little horn. This little horn, Kong said, referred to the Antichrist. Sharing from Daniel 7 and 8, the pastor listed the following characteristics of the Antichrist, who is called the “man of sin” and also the “son of perdition”. He will:
- Arise from a group of 10 nations (Daniel 7:8, 24)
- Blaspheme God (Daniel 7:8, 11, 20, 25)
- Persecute saints, the Christians (Daniel 7:21-25)
- Be a world dictator (Daniel 7:25)
- Reign for three and a half years (Daniel 7:11)
- Be defeated by the second coming ff Christ (Daniel 7:13-14)
- Be cast into the Lake Of Fire (Daniel 7:11)
- Invade Israel (Daniel 8:9)
- Persecute the descendants of Abraham (Daniel 8:10)
- Get rid of daily sacrifices in the temple (Daniel 8:11-12)
- Set up his image in the temple (termed as “transgression of desolation” in Daniel 8:13 and an “abomination of desolation” in Daniel 11:31)
Kong then reminded the congregation of the first two commandments from God that say: “You shall have no other gods before Me” and “You shall not make for yourself a carved image”, which warns His people against idolatry.
- Reign for 2,300 evenings and mornings (‘day’ in Daniel 8:14 is ereb (Hebrew), which means “evenings and mornings”)
- Be cunning and treacherous (Daniel 8:25)
He will sign a Middle East peace treaty for seven years and in the midst of it, break it and start his three-and-a-half year reign.
- Be destroyed supernaturally (Daniel 8:25b, 2 Thessalonians 2:8)
- Exalt himself above God
- Demand to be worshiped
2 Thessalonians 2:5-9 talks about the “mystery of lawlessness”. Contrasted against 1 Timothy 3:16 which speaks about the “’mystery of godliness”, Kong explained that the “mystery of lawlessness” means the Antichrist will be like Satan in human flesh.
- Arise from the Bottomless Pit (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7)
- Be politically and militarily strong (Revelation 13:2, 4, 7-8)
- Hate Jews (Daniel 8:24)
The woman mentioned in Revelation 17:9, 18 is said to be Rome, the great city that reigned in the days of Apostle John, which sits on seven mountains geographically. Out of the seven kings mentioned in Revelation 17:10, five have fallen (namely Julius Caesar, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero Caesar). As interpreted from Revelation 17:11, one of the fallen Roman kings will come back as the Antichrist. Some scholars believe that this fallen king who will return is Nero Caesar, whose name in Hebrew is NRON KRS, adding up to the number 666.
THE FALSE PROPHET
Kong also taught about the False Prophet, mentioned in Revelation 13:11-17. The False Prophet displays the good traits of Christianity (“lamb”), but is actually satanic in his intentions (“dragon”). He will have the supernatural or technological power to “give breath to the image of the beast”, and work together with Satan and the Antichrist to draw people away from God by creating an economic system that requires the mark of the Beast. Kong warned against taking the mark of the Beast. because taking the mark forever prevents one from receiving the seal of God. Anyone with the mark will be destined for eternal fire.
MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT
Revelation 17:5 says, “And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Kong explained that to understand whom she is, there is a need to first understand that Babylon is the main source of idolatry in the world today. Jeremiah 50:38 says “they are insane with their idols”.
Explaining the origin of Babylon, Kong read from Genesis 10:8-12 where Nimrod, the great-grandson of Noah, was first mentioned. His name meant, “We shall rebel”. Nimrod was the founder of Babel, another name for Babylon, meaning “confusion”. Nimrod was a “mighty hunter before the Lord” and is said to be the first to wear a crown, wanting to be exalted above God (echoing the spirit of Lucifer).
Nimrod married Semiramis (his own mother) and they proclaimed themselves the Babylonian Sun god and goddess, using the sun, fire and snake as their emblems. During Nimrod’s reign, human sacrifices were offered for the first time. Nimrod was supposedly killed by his own great-grand uncle Shem or Semiramis herself. Semiramis then spread the rumor that Nimrod had ascended into Heaven. She became “supernaturally” pregnant with Tammuz (whom she claimed was the reincarnation of Nimrod). Tammuz himself was worshipped as a golden calf (Ezekiel 8:14-15). Semiramis called herself “Mother of Sun God” and “Queen of Heaven”–her image is that of her holding a child. This was the beginning of mother-and-child worship in the kingdoms that came after Babylon.
|Canaan (Judges 10:6)||Baal||Ashtoreth||Tammuz|
|Rome||Zeus||Juno/Diana (Acts 19:35)||Jupiter-puer/Bacchus|
Revelation 12 talks of a faithful woman, while Revelation 17 speaks of MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, a ‘harlot’ who has influence (‘sitting over many waters’). The woman is a Biblical symbol of the Church, the Bride of Jesus. Harlotry refers to idol worship (Exodus 34:15), and fornication means unfaithfulness to a marriage commitment, and hence for believers, unfaithfulness to God. That would mean that according to Revelation 17:3-4, there will be a rich and unfaithful Church in the end times who will ally with the Antichrist, and propagate the mother-and-child worship that originated in Babylon.
THE 144,000 WHO WILL RECEIVE GOD’S SEAL
Revelation 7:5 says, “And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed.” Some people believe that this verse refers to about 144,000 Jews who need to be saved. However, this is contradicted by Revelation 7:9, which says, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands.”
Also, the 12 tribes mentioned in Revelation 7:5-8 are not the same 12 tribes of Israel in Genesis 49 as the tribes of Ephraim and Dan (both turned to idolatry) have been replaced by the half-tribe of Manasseh.
Kong went on to say that, the Book of Revelation repeats its message: chapters 1 to 11 give a macro view while chapters 12 to 22 provide a micro view. Both Revelation 7:4 and Revelation 14:1 mention the 144,000. God said to Abraham in Genesis 15:13 that his “descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years”. In the Jewish calendar, one month has 30 days. Multiplying 400 years by 12 months by 30 days gives us 144,000 days of affliction.
Who is the group of people that make up the 144,000 to be sealed by God in the last days? Kong said that it would probably be those who would go through the years of affliction, are not afraid to carry the cross, follow Jesus, and if need be, lay down their lives for Him (Revelation 14:4-5, Acts 14:22).
FIVE SOLAE OF THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION
When Martin Luther initiated the Protestant Reformation, the foundational set of Biblical principles were written. Each sola—which means “alone” or “only” in Latin—represents a key belief in Christian faith held by the Protestant reformers.
- Sola Scriptura–by Scripture alone
- Sola Fide–by faith alone
- Sola Gratia–by grace alone
- Solus Christus–through Christ alone
- Soli Deo Gloria–glory to God alone
Kong concluded the series by exhorting the congregation to follow Jesus and be strong until the end and not to fall into idolatry. He reminded the congregants that Christians are pilgrims passing through this world; their treasures are stored up in Heaven. The closer the Day draws near, the closer one must draw to the Lord.
The End Times Realities in audio CD format is available for sale at The Ink Room.