Tom: Thanks, Gary. You’re listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a program in which we encourage everyone who desires to know God’s truth to look to God’s Word for all that is essential for salvation and living one’s life in a way that is pleasing to Him.
In this part of our program, we’re going through Dave Hunt’s book Countdown to the Second Coming, and we’re currently in chapter 4. Dave, last week, as you know, we were talking about the preparation of the world to receive the son of perdition, as the Apostle Paul refers to him in 2 Thessalonians, and of course, it’s the Antichrist.
Now, last week we were talking about it’s all set for him to take over the world economically. We talked about buying and selling, which John in the Book of Revelation refers to. No one can do it unless they take his mark.
But this week I want to get into something that’s really stunning that John writes—again, in the Book of Revelation—that the entire world will worship Satan and the Antichrist. Let me cover those verses, Dave, and we’ll go after this:
Revelation:12:9: “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.”
Revelation:13:4: “And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
And of course, 1 Timothy:4:1 says, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.”
Dave: (chuckling) Tom, it sounds preposterous—the world will worship the dragon, Satan himself—but we’re being prepared for that. I—we’ve talked about some of these quotes that bring evidence for this in the book, and one of them, I’m quoting from a brochure that previous generations would have found shocking. Now listen to this: “As we enter what has been described as the Aquarian Age…” And by the way, people justify that, you know—The Age of Aquarius. Jesus said to His disciples when He was going to have them prepare for the last supper, He said, “You go into the city, you’ll see a man bearing a pitcher of water.” That happens to be the sign of the Age of Aquarius, and you find it on the Zodiac—a man bearing a pitcher of water, so I’ve heard the New Agers, for example, say, “You see, the time for the old Messiah is out. Now we need a new Messiah for the Age of Aquarius.”
Tom: And supposedly Jesus was pointing to that—referring to the man with the pitcher of water.
Tom: Forget that!
Dave: So Jesus was foretelling that. Well, he says, “…we’re entering into a time of cooperation between the spiritual and the material realm, so it is time for us to make peace with the dragon and work in partnership with the wisdom and power of the earth that the dragon represents.” That’s rather astonishing! The logo of one “peace” organization, Peace on Earth—it shows the world with a huge dragon perched on top of the world and guarding it.
Life magazine interviewed some leading Americans on the purpose of life, and one author wrote, “Our purpose is to return to Eden, make friends with the snake, and set up our computers among the wild apple trees.” Now, you find these statements rather outrageous—unbelievable that anyone would tolerate them, and yet this is the way the world is moving.
Of course, we’ve had the gurus from the East, yoga, self-realization, the idea that we can discover the god within, that we are all God. Second Thessalonians 2:4:[speaking of this one who’s also called ‘that wicked one’], it says, “He will sit in the temple of God [so we know the Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem]—He will sit in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” And we have so many people today who believe that they really are God, and this was the lie of the Serpent in the Garden. Amazingly, many religions teach this. The Mormons, as most of our listeners would know, their whole goal is to become a god—this would be for the males—ruling over another world, be another Adam, another Eve, another Lucifer, another fall, another Jesus, another cross. And Brigham Young, for example, speaking from the Mormon tabernacle there in Salt Lake City, said, “ The devil told the truth. I don’t blame Mother Eve for eating the forbidden fruit. That’s how we become gods.”
So that the world is being set up for the Antichrist…
Tom: Well, in a sense, he was correct, wasn’t he? They did become gods.
Dave: “Little gods…”
Tom: We all became gods with a little “g.” We’re rebels after God’s glory, and so on.
Dave: And, Tom, we could quote many of the positive confession teachers. Paul Crouch says it right on TV: “We are little gods.” In fact, he put in his newsletter, “If we are not little gods, I will apologize before 10,000 times 10,000 in front of the glassy sea.”
Well, if he’s a little god, he won’t be there, because Jeremiah:10:10-11, God says, “You say to the gods who have not created this heaven and this earth, they will perish from under this heaven and this earth.”
So, anyone who claims to be a god—I don’t care, spell it with a big “g” or a little “g,” you will perish. This is what God says. But Charles Capps, as you know, says, “We are gods. But remember to spell it with a little ‘g.’”
So this is a teaching that has somehow gained credibility in the church and in the world, and it’s not too big a step for this man who Paul tells us in 2 Thessalonians 2 will have all the power of Satan to work lying signs and wonders. Now you mentioned in your introductory remarks the Antichrist is going to take over the world. How is he going to do that? Well, Revelation 13 says the dragon gives him his seat, that is his position, and his power, and this, of course, is Satan. And we know that Satan offered—we mentioned this last week, I think—Satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. Jesus did not say, “They’re not yours to give.” Satan said, “I’ll give them to you if you’ll bow down and worship me.”
Of course, Christ refused. The Antichrist, who will indeed pretend to be Christ, as we’ve explained in the past, will accept from Satan the world. And he will be set up by Satan with all of this power, and Satan will give him all of his power to do lying signs and wonders, and the world, as you pointed out, will worship him.
Tom: Dave, I used to think about that and wrestle with it because, as you indicated, we’re rebels. Certainly not those who have come to Christ, but prior to that, we are little gods. We’re rebels wanting to do our own things. And I’m just wondering, how could an individual—you know, why would we submit to him, or worship him? And the thought came to me—you know, we’re here in Central Oregon. Well, not too far from here we had a cult—a very large cult—headed by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh from Poona, India. And he led many, and they worshiped him. But the way of the guru, and I think it’s going to be the way of the Antichrist as well, Rajneesh claimed to be God. Bhagwan, “Sir God.” Why would rebels, in a sense, worship this man? Because he claimed to be God, but he claimed that his followers were gods. The Antichrist is going to do the same thing. It’s just that he’s more of “God,” he’s more self-realized than we are. But everything that he can do—you mentioned lying signs and wonders—I think they’re going to…people are going to be able to do that but not to the degree that he can, but he’s still offering that. So, basically, bowing down to the Antichrist is bowing down to yourself. That’s what they do in Hinduism, isn’t it?
Dave: Exactly, that’s what is being taught. So, Tom, I think you can see—or anyone can see—that we’re heading in the direction that the Bible said we would eventually arrive there. It would be very difficult to imagine—for example, you mentioned you can’t buy or sell without the mark of the beast. You couldn’t have dreamed of how that could come about 100 years ago. We have the computer technology to do exactly that today. We have communications satellites, we have the ability to track anybody anywhere on the earth. That was never possible before. We, in fact, have seen before our eyes—in my lifetime, I’ve seen it—the development of these electronic capabilities that allow these prophecies to be fulfilled.
And, you know, you mentioned commerce—international commerce—I mean the world is already set up. You alluded to that at the beginning. The multinational corporations have already established a one-world system of commerce. I was talking to the general manager of a huge hotel in Shanghai, and I meet people like this on the plane, and I always ask them, “Do you think we can ever go back and…?” No, we’ll never go back. We’re going forward. But what about China? Now this was a Communist country. Are they going to have to fall in line with this world system? Indeed they are. They’re not going to become democratic entirely, but they are developing the Internet…I mean they are dominating world commerce now. And I’ve said to these people who are from China, “Aren’t they going to have to go by the rules also?”
“Yes, if you’re going to do business, you’re going to have to go by certain rules.”
So we are really setting this thing up. It’s amazing, Tom…
Tom: Well, Dave, a thought hit me…here we are in Bend, Oregon, the outdoors—the great outdoors adventure—all of that. Skiing equipment, and so on. Clothes. I challenge anybody to pick up some high-end athletic gear, look on the tag on the back. It’s going to say, “Made in China.” I don’t care if it’s Nike or North Face, or whatever it is, it’s happening there big time.
Dave: It’s amazing, Tom. We’re seeing it before our eyes.
Tom: Yeah, Dave, one of the other things about this, preparation for the Antichrist. Now, it seems to me that his table is pretty wide in this. In other words, everything from the direct worship of Satan himself to the conditioning with regard to magic and witchcraft and so on. We’re really going through a revival of that. Certainly the Harry Potter books, but that’s not the only thing. Movies, television programs, there’s a conditioning with regard to an appeal to magic and witchcraft.
Dave: It says the whole world will worship the dragon. You could go back to the Star Wars film series—George Lucas knew exactly what he was doing. And when the young people—or older ones as well—walked out of that theater, one thought remained with them: “May the Force be with you.” And you saw bumper stickers, “May the Force be with you.”
Well, actually, the Force is Satan. This is not God. God is not a force. But when you begin to worship some power behind everything, then you are really honoring Satan. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10: “The things that the Gentiles offer [that is, in their worship in the idol temple] they offer to devils.” Behind every idol is a devil—a demon. Actually, Satan, because is you are not worshiping the true God, then you are worshiping the false god. And Satan is called the god of this world. God is not going to be honored, and he will not accept your worship if you worship Him as some force, some impersonal being, or trees, and so forth. That is an abomination to God.
But Satan will accept that. This becomes a front for Satan, and he uses it. So, John ends his first epistle—he says, “We are of God. Little children, we are of God, and the whole world lies in the wicked one. We know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding. We know him that is true. We are in him that is true. This is the true God and eternal life.” And then he says, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”
So anything that purports to have the power that you would attribute to God alone, that belongs to the Creator of this universe, but is not the true God, this becomes a false god, and this becomes a front for Satan.
So, we’re not going to have people saying…not everyone…some of them will come right out and say, “We are worshiping Satan. We’re worshiping the dragon.” But many others will think that they’re worshiping this man who has these godlike powers.
Tom: Dave, throughout the history of religions, you know, we could start back at the Garden, where man first rebelled, but the worship of the serpent is throughout all religions. I mean, not every one, but far more than you would really realize unless you took a look at this.
Dave: Well, it’s in all paganism, for sure. It’s in Hinduism. The Hopi Indians…
Tom: The Norse gods, right.
Dave: Scandinavia. Or what about the “plumed serpent,” Quetzalcoatl, in South America, and so forth. Tom, we could go around the world.
Tom: Right. There’s another thing about this. Dave, when you mentioned Star Wars, that’s an American version of the religion of the East, whether it be Taoism, the yin and yang, whether it be Hinduism, Buddhism, it’s all the worship of force—“God” is not personal but is a power out there. So, my point here is the preparation of this—receiving the Antichrist—is throughout the world already and has been for centuries.
Dave: And, amazingly, Tom, it’s in the church. That’s what is so astonishing. The whole Human Potential Movement, for example. The New Age movement, but let’s call it the Human Potential Movement. The idea that we have an infinite potential within us. Psychologists say, “Oh, you only use 10 percent of your brain. If you knew how to use the rest of it…,” you know. It’s in the business world—Success Motivation, Positive Mental Attitude training—that there is a power that we can activate. Some teach it’s a power within. Well, whether it’s within or wherever it is, it turns—literally turns God into a placebo. So that’s why it doesn’t matter what “God” you believe in. Believe in any God. Just so long as you believe in some power. That will then activate this power, a placebo, it doesn’t matter—it has nothing in it, maybe a little sugar pill—but if you think that it will cure you, then it will cure you, because now…
Tom: Up to a point (chuckling)
Dave: Yeah, right, thank you, Tom. So now we have a power of the mind, actually. But it goes beyond that. Faith, belief—we have “people of faith,” “faith-based initiative.” Never mind what faith it is, just so long as you have faith in something out there. Okay? So you can see that this man who will have all the power of Satan to do lying signs and wonders, there’s good reason now—wow! All of this that we’ve been “believing” —it will all—somehow comes to a head, and it makes sense, and here it is embodied in this remarkable man who has brought peace to the world.
Tom: Dave, earlier I quoted 1 Timothy:4:1, talking about that some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. Well, this isn’t a matter of just developing this on your own. People are actually in contact with disembodied spirits, channelers—way back when, we had the spiritualist movement, in which they had séances, and sat around and tried to contact people from the other side, and so on. But now you have mediums, psychics, channelers, getting what’s been referred to as “the Cosmic Gospel,” that you are God. It’s the lie from Satan in the Garden all over again.
Dave: Well, Tom, let’s go to science. Robert Jastrow, remember, the founder and director for many years of the Goddard Space Institute that sent Pioneer and Voyager, and so forth, out into space. He said, “Evolution could have been going on in some planets 10 billion years longer than on this planet, and those beings would be as far beyond man on the evolutionary scale as man is beyond a worm. And when we see them, they would seem like gods to us.” And then he says, “Some of them could have evolved beyond the need of bodies. They would be what religious people call ‘spirits.’”
Wow! So now we have scientists believing that there could be these beings out there who have no bodies. They’re only spirits, and we are trying to contact them with our radio-telescopes, SETI, “Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence,” and so forth. What a setup for Satan!
So, Tom, I guess we could talk a lot more about this sort of thing, but I don’t think it is farfetched, what the Bible says: The world will worship a man who claims to be God, and who is empowered by Satan.