Introduction: Revelation is filled with pictures of
frightening beasts and symbols conveying messages about the
future. Many are debated over their meaning and their
timing. Those, however, are not the only prophecies found in
the New Testament. One prophecy, not primarily found in
Revelation, is clear and difficult to dispute. And it is our
focus this week. It also fits into the views of the three
Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. This
prophecy tells us about the impending conflict that takes
place before the Second Coming of Jesus. Let’s plunge into
our study of the Bible and learn more!

I. The Warning

A. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:1. What is the subject
matter of the discussion that follows? (Jesus’
Second Coming and His followers going to heaven.
When teaching lawyers to argue in court, we tell
them to first set out a “roadmap.” Let the court
know what you are going to be arguing. Verse 1 is
a roadmap.)

B. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3. What is the concern
about Jesus’ Second Coming? (That people will try
to deceive Jesus’ followers.)

1. What should we look for to prevent being
deceived? (A rebellion will come first.)

2. Wait, we have had rebellions against God from
the time Cain killed Abel. How does this help
us? (Let’s keep reading.)

C. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:4. What are the important
points of this rebellion that set it apart from
all others? (This rebel proclaims that he is God,
and he takes his seat “in the temple of God.”)

1. Now let’s add the context. What does the
roadmap tell us about the context? (This
prophecy is about faking the Second Coming of

D. Read Matthew 24:23-27. What does Jesus warn will
happen before His Second Coming? (False christs
performing great signs and wonders will come.)

1. What is one definitive way to tell the fake
Second Coming from the real? (Everyone will
see it. It will be like lightning from the
east to the west. See also Revelation 1:7 –
“every eye will see Him.”)

E. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10. Who powers the Anti-
Christ? (Satan.)

1. How convincing is the proof used by this rebel
faker? (Powerful signs and wonders support his

F. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:8. What does this tell us
about the timing of the reign of the Anti-Christ?
(That it is only Jesus’ Second Coming that kills
him. The two events seem closely timed.)

G. Did you know that a belief in a false messiah is
shared by Muslims? (“The Deceiver” (al-Dejjal) is
a false messianic figure in Islamic teaching about
end times. According to the teaching, the Deceiver
will reign for a limited period of time before
being destroyed by the Mahdi or Jesus. See
Britannica listing for al-Dajjal.)

1. Does Judaism have a similar belief?
(Absolutely! Think about it. They reject
Jesus as the Messiah, and thus they continue
to look for the coming of the true Messiah.)

H. What do you think about the fact that all three
Abrahamic religions, which represent an
overwhelming majority of all world religious
belief, look forward to coming messiah figure?

II. The Issue

A. Re-read 2 Thessalonians 2:4. Aside from getting
the identification right, what is the central
issue in resisting the rebel Anti-Christ who fakes
Jesus’ Second Coming? (Worship. He exalts himself
over all others who claim to be entitled to
worship. He says that he is God.)

B. Read Revelation 4:11. This pictures a scene in
heaven in the throne room. What is the reason
given for worshiping Jesus? (He is our Creator. He
powers the creation.)

C. Read Revelation 14:7. What is the reason why the
First of the Three Angels says that we should
worship God? (He is the Creator.)

D. Revelation 13 tells us about beasts and a dragon.
Read Revelation 13:4 and Revelation 13:11-14. What
is at issue with the dragon and the beasts?
(Worship. Note the references to great signs being
used to deceive.)

E. Years ago, I decided to do a systematic search of
the Bible to see what God said about His claim to
be worshiped. I found at least 100 Bible texts in
which His claim to worship was that He is the
Creator! If you were attempting to defeat God and
claim the worship due to Him, what would you do?
(Undermine His claim as the Creator.)

III. The Issue Today

A. Several Bible commentaries that I frequently use
are very old. Barnes’ Notes were written in the
1830s. Adam Clarke’s Commentaries were published
from 1810-26. The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible
Commentary was published in 1871. These
commentaries, among others, lead me to believe
that two hundred years ago there was general
agreement among the leading Protestant Bible
scholars that one of the heads of the beast of
Revelation 13, whose mortal wound was healed, is
the Catholic Church. My Church still teaches that
and so do other modern Protestants. My Church also
teaches the “Earth Beast” of Revelation 13:11 is
the United States. I understand the arguments and
generally believe them to be sound. However:

1. The argument about the Catholic Church is
contradicted by the reality of today. The
Catholic Church, which publicly defends
important values (such as protecting the pre-
born), is taking a beating in the media. Its
members who hold political power in the United
States are either apostates (Congress and the
Executive branches) or firm supporters of
religious liberty (Supreme Court).

2. The argument about the United States forcing
worship world-wide is belied by the fact that
it seems to have no influence in the Islamic
world to say nothing about the rise of the
Chinese. Perhaps the false worship is the
pernicious evil that the U.S. spreads
throughout the world through its entertainment
media. That media, however, seems to hate the
Catholic Church.

3. Something that is happening right now
constitutes a direct attack on God’s claim as
our Creator. Let’s explore current events that
directly challenge God’s claim to be our
Creator God and thus worthy of our worship.

B. Read Genesis 1:1-5. The rest of the chapter
follows this general pattern. What are the
important details? (God created everything from
what was “formless and empty.” God spoke the
creation into existence. Each element happened
upon command.)

1. Is this claim currently under attack? (It is
under almost universal attack based on
Darwin’s theory of incremental evolution.)

C. Read Genesis 1:26-28. What does this reveal about
humans? (We are made in the image of God. We were
intended to rule over the creation. We were made
either male or female with the purpose of

1. Is this claim currently under attack? (We are
currently taught that there are many genders,
sex is not binary. We are assured that same-
sex marriages, which cannot reproduce, are of
equal dignity to God’s creation pattern.)

2. What about the claim that humans rule the
creation? (We are warned that humans are a
danger to the created world and humans need to
be reduced in number. We are told that we need
to conform to the needs of the environment
which rules over us.)

D. Read Genesis 2:1-3 and Exodus 20:8-11. What do
these texts say is the reason to worship on the
seventh-day? (It is a memorial to God creating
“the heavens and the earth.”)

1. Is this claim currently under attack? (Almost
all the Christian world worships on Sunday –
the first day of the week.)

E. Friend, Martin Luther wrote: “If I profess with
loudest voice and clearest exposition every
portion of the truth of God except that little
point which the world and the Devil are at that
moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ,
however boldly I may be professing Christ.” I will
see how the future fulfillment of Revelation 13
unfolds, but right now I’m with Martin Luther. We
are worthless if we do not oppose Satan’s current
point of attack. Will you be a faithful soldier in
the conflict that is going on right now?

IV. Next week: Earth’s Closing Events.

Copr. 2024, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail,
but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this
link: Pray for the guidance of the
Holy Spirit as you study.