In his message, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, Pastor Greg Laurie takes us through Revelation 17. He helps us gain a greater understanding of the symbolism as we explore together what the Lord is actually saying to us.
The Bible says there is coming a world leader. He’ll be charismatic. He’ll be good-looking. He’ll bring global solutions. He’ll bring a pseudo peace to this war-torn planet. The Bible calls him the beast. He is also referred to as anti-Christ.
Anyone who doesn’t know better will hail this charismatic world leader. The anti-Christ will come in the place of Christ. This phrase, ‘the beast’ is not a description of his appearance, but actually his character. He’ll be wicked.
But what about the beauty? That will be the church of God’s people gathering together. When you become a follower of Jesus, you become a part of the church. You are the bride of Christ. We’re the beauty in the story.
But this battle between the beauty and the beast goes all the way back to the book of Genesis. It started with Adam and Eve being tempted by the devil and the judgment of God came as a result of them eating the forbidden fruit.
“God said to Satan, I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed,” says Greg. “And he will crush your head and you will bruise his heel. God is saying the battle has now begun, and He put Satan on warning. The Messiah is coming.”
We know the beast is going to lose. Beauty is going to prevail. Revelation 17 tells us we are chronologically right now in the second half of the tribulation period. In Greg’s opinion, the next event on the prophetic calendar will be the rapture of the church.
Revelation begins with the seven messages of Jesus to the seven churches. The church is mentioned multiple times in those first chapters, but then we don’t see any mention of the church until chapter 19. All that space in between is dealing with the other events that are going to happen.
“The word imminent does not always mean soon,” Greg explains. “It just means inevitable. In other words, we don’t know when the rapture will happen. Jesus says, no man knows the day or the hour. It can happen at any moment.”
But God will not judge Christians with non-Christians. “Everyone on earth has an appointment. You have an appointment. I have an appointment. The appointment of this world is to face the day of the Lord in a future judgment.”
The Bible tells us that a powerful religious deception will sweep the earth. It’s described as Babylon. Babylon is pictured as a prostitute, riding a beast and she’s dressed in red. What does this all mean? It’s not as complex as you may think.
“Babylon is a picture of man’s kingdom without God. In the book of Revelation, Babylon refers to an entire worldwide political, economic and religious kingdom under the control of the antichrist. But Babylon can be personal as well.”
“It’s basically a life that is consumed with pride, sensuality and idolatry. It’s anything that takes the place of God”.