During the Tribulation the final Antichrist will rise to power. All those who want to buy and sell will be required wear his name or his number 666 on their right hand or foreheads and all who dwell on earth will be deceived into worshiping him, except those whose names are written in the Book of Life of the Lamb.
Also, are the wicked “getting away with murder?” Habakkuk thought so. How about you?
Well, we’re nearing the end of our reading for the year. I pray that you are already preparing to begin again in 2017 and encouraging others to do the same.
How has following along here impacted your Bible reading or your understanding of God and His Word?
What is your goal for Bible reading and study in 2017?
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I appreciate all the encouraging comments you’ve given me and I love knowing how His glorious Word has impacted your life!
Now on to today’s readings …
666 & Getting Away with Murder
The Final Anti-Christ & 666
1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. 2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.
Satan will summon one of his demons to come up out of the abyss. This demon will control the man who is Antichrist.
3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. 4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
During the Tribulation the final Antichrist will rise to power. That power will come from Satan himself. Many will be deceived into worshiping him and at one point he will, at least appear to, die and be raised from the dead, causing many more to worship him.
5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
All but genuine believers will be deceived into worshiping him.
11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666.
This is Antichrist’s sidekick, so to speak. He will promote him and encourage others to worship him. He is the final false prophet. He will force people to wear the mark of the beast if they wish to buy or sell and will have people killed for refusing to worship Antichrist. But those who have come to faith in Jesus Christ and whose names have been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb will be protected from this deception.
It’s encouraging to know that people can and will be saved during the Tribulation, but it will be an unprecedented time of trial and persecution for those who are. And, as I said yesterday, it’s a bittersweet reality that many will reject the truth and continue to do so, in spite of, the events going on.
All the more reason to pray and share the gospel so those God has placed in our paths will be spared from the hardships and terror of that time.
Are the wicked “getting away with murder”?
In chapter 1 Habakkuk has been crying out to God about the sin and wickedness all around him. He sees the righteous being mistreated and wicked people “getting away with murder,” as we might say today. God responds by telling him, he is going to judge the guilty in short order. But He will do so by allowing an even more evil government, the Chaldeans, to come in and take over as an instrument of His judgment.
The prophet is at first shocked and questions God’s method. He reminds God of His own character and points out that the Chaldeans will take the credit and use their success to worship their own false gods and military might.
The Just Shall Live by Faith
In chapter 2 God answers Habakkuk by saying He will judge the Chaldeans, as well. In fact, God’s judgment on evil was so sure, that the prophet was to write it down (2.2). God also reassured Habakkuk that righteous men and women will persevere even in difficult times by putting their faith and trust in God. “… the just shall live by faith” (2.4).
Today, too, it’s easy to think that evil men and women are “getting away with murder,” but we must remember that God is still in control. One of His attributes is His omniscience. That means He knows everything. No one gets away with anything! God will judge evil in His perfect timing. We can write it down!
Today’s Other Readings:
Hope in the Lord
Here the psalmist reminds us that we are not to put our trust in the things of this world, including governments or politicians, to deliver us.
“Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day his plans perish” (vv. 3-4).
“Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God” (vv. 5).
“The eye that mocks his father, and scorns obedience to his mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it.”
God places great importance on a child’s respect for authority, especially in the home.
But He also expects us to be good examples to our children. If not, we can become stumbling blocks and make it easier for our children to dishonor us and suffer the consequences of that choice. So while our children are 100% responsible for their choice to honor or dishonor their parents, we are 100% responsible for our actions before God.
God is loving and patient. He sent His Son to bear the punishment for our rebellion against Him because He desires that all would come to faith in Him (1 Tim. 2.4). But one day soon, He will bring His sure judgment on those who continue to reject the gospel.
Who in your life, might you commit to pray for more faithfully in the coming year? How can you better prepare to share the gospel?
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“Bible in a Year” posts have been edited and updated from previous posts.