Left Behind - Fact or Fiction | 4/6
The Antichrist, Tribulation and Deliverance
Simply because something has been taught for centuries, does not necessarily make it true. An example is the ancient belief that the Earth was flat.
What is the issue in the great controversy between good and evil? In the Old Testament to be a follower of God the central issue was worship. The same is the case in the New Testament. So it should not surprise us if in the last days the central issue in the final conflict between good and evil will revolve around worship.
In Revelation 14:6, 7 there is an appeal to worship the Creator. What is the basis of worship? The basis is the fact that He is the Creator (see Revelation 4:11). In a time of evolution, God is calling us back to worship Him as Creator. Has God given to us a sign of His creative authority? How do we worship Him as the Creator? Once this is understood, everything in the great controversy will fall into place. What is the sign of true worship; what is the sign of our allegiance to God? In Exodus 20:8-11 God tells us to keep the Sabbath. Revelation 14 says a message is to go to all the earth calling us to worship the Creator. Revelation 4 says that the essence of all worship is the fact that God created us. Exodus 20, in the Sabbath commandment, says that we worship God as Creator by remembering the Sabbath. So the Sabbath is much more than some legalistic requirement given to the Jewish race in the Old Testament. The Sabbath is an eternal symbol that God created us; which links our hearts to God. Every time we worship on Sabbath, the seventh day of the week Saturday, we enter into a heart to heart experience with the Creator of the world.
The Sabbath will be a central issue in the final conflict because it speaks to the heart of who God is (the Creator) and who we are (creatures). We come to him with our supreme allegiance and homage, our worship. In Revelation 14 the central issue in the great controversy between good and evil is true worship, loyalty, allegiance, worshiping the Creator (the Sabbath). On the other hand we have a false worship – worshiping the beast (Revelation 14:9, 10). The central issue between worshiping the Creator and worshiping the beast finds its heart in Revelation 14:12 which says that the saints keep the commandments. So the Sabbath becomes part of a world wide controversy at the time of the end. The whole world is called back to allegiance to God. On the other hand the Antichrist power attempts to change God’s law (see Daniel 7:25).
The word Antichrist means “another”. Beast means king/kingdom (Daniel 7:17, 23). In Daniel 7 the first beast (kingdom) is a lion, representing Babylon. The second is a bear, representing Mede-Persia (the empire that overthrew Babylon). The third is a leopard, representing Greece, which overthrew the Medo-Persian Empire. The fourth beast which overthrew Greece was Rome. The fourth beast has 10 horns (10 divisions of the Roman Empire). A little horn comes after the division of Rome, destroying 3 horns. What power grew out of Pagan Rome, after the division of the Roman Empire, destroying three of the division of Rome (horns)? He had eyes of a man – human wisdom (see Ephesians 1:18). It persecuted the saints. It was different than the other powers – religious. Is there a power that came out of Rome, which has claimed it had the authority to change the very law of God? Could it be the Church of Rome? In the Catholic Encyclopaedia vol. 4, p. 153 it says “The Church, after changing the day of rest from the Jewish Sabbath of the seventh day of the week, made the third Commandment refer to Sunday as the day to be kept as the Lord’s Day.” In Saint Catherine Catholic Church Sentinel May 21, 1995 it says “Perhaps the boldest thing, the most revolutionary change the Church ever did happened in the first century. The holy day, the Sabbath, was changed from Saturday to Sunday… not from any directions noted in the Scriptures, but from the Church’s sense of its own power… People who think that Scriptures should be the sole authority, should logically become Seventh-day Adventists, and keep Saturday holy.”
The issue in the last days is the issue of the law of God. The Faith of Our Fathers by Catholic cardinal James Gibbons p. 111, 112 says “You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday.” There are many honest Christians that worship on Sunday. The central issue is the Sabbath. And God will not change His laws (see Psalm 89:34). Today God is appealing to us to keep His Sabbath.In the last days God will have a people that love Him so much that will keep His commandments (see Revelation 12:17). These commandments are not legalistic commandments or given by a God that wants to restrict our freedom. These commandments are symbols of love. The final conflict between good and evil will be over the allegiance of our heart. Will you give the allegiance of your heart to God?