This verse-by-verse study of Mark 13:21-37 was taught by Pastor Barry Forder at our family service on 4th November 2018.
In our previous study, we looked at the individual who will soon make an appearance on the world stage whom we often refer to as Antichrist. In fact, this individual is known by 33 different titles in the Old Testament and 13 in the New Testament.
However, there is another individual that Jesus alludes to in Mark 13, and that is the one referred to as the False Prophet in Revelation 19:20.
But it is in Revelation chapter 13 that we are introduced to the Devil’s two great protagonists, the ‘Beast from the sea’ v.1 (aka Antichrist) and the ‘Beast from the earth’ v.11 (aka the False Prophet). From the beginning, Satan has been a deceiver and master counterfeiter. Now, at the mid-point of the Tribulation, Satan (man’s great opponent) will attempt to deceive mankind through an unholy trinity, with Satan (as he has always wanted) being ‘like God’; Antichrist (as the name means) ‘in the place of Christ’, and the False Prophet assuming a Holy Spirit-like role, pointing people to the false Christ.
In Revelation 13:13 we read: “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men”
By this time, the people of the earth will have seen God’s two witnesses (see Revelation 11) call down fire from Heaven on any that tried to harm them; Satan now gives this power to the false prophet as if to counter what God has done. This reminds us of Pharaoh’s magicians in Egypt who tied to counter the signs that Moses and Aaron did in an attempt to harden the people’s hearts.
But the False Prophet will win the hearts of the people with his deceptions and will deceive the people (who have made this world their home) by the ‘signs and wonders’ he performs, and then he’ll suggest that they make an image of Antichrist in a re-run of Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon (Daniel chapter 3) and Antiochus Epiphanes (Daniel chapter 8 & 11).
Somehow the false prophet will make the image of Antichrist (which will be placed in the Holy of Holies in the temple in Jerusalem) to seem as if it’s alive and even cause it to talk. Just like it was with king Neb’ back in Daniel 3, any that don’t worship the image will be killed. He will then cause all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads
This is of course the infamous ‘Mark of the Beast’.
Everyone will have to receive the mark and buying or selling will be made impossible unless you have either the mark, or Antichrist’s name, or the number of his name. In this way everyone will be forced to pledge allegiance to Antichrist. Whilst some sort of electronic microchip may well be used during this time, the mark is unlikely to be your own personal ID number (such as you currently have with your Credit Card number), because the whole point of this is that you are given Antichrist’s number. Whatever the mark will be it will also probably be visible; again, it is an outward sign that a person has pledged their allegiance to Antichrist. This is also another one of Satan’s poor copies, because back in Revelation chapter 7 the servants of God were marked in their foreheads with the name of God.
Thus this satanic trinity will have their moment – but it will be brief! Jesus will return and destroy the work of the Devil.
In Mark 13 Jesus then goes on to say that Israel will not be destroyed – despite the Devil’s best efforts.
The chapter ends with a warning to all of us to watch! These things are almost upon us, the world is running out of time. It is now more important than ever to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with any that have ears to hear.
As usual, the audio of this teaching and Powerpoint slides used are available for free download.
May you be blessed and encouraged by this study.
Every blessing in Christ,