Jim's Blog

The Antichrist, The Beast, 666 and other Scary Things about End Times Theology : A Well Thought Out Scream by James Riordan

Islamic State terrorists have been announcing that they see themselves as part of the apocalyptic end times prophesied in the Koran and that Jesus will appear soon to defeat the armies of Rome, thus beginning the countdown to the end of the world.  This prophetic interpretation was hinted at by the leader of the grisly beheadings of 21 Coptic Christians as he pointed northward in the grisly video of the killings, saying, “We will conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission.”  ISIS believes it is setting up a showdown with the armies of Rome in northern Syria and then a final showdown with an anti-Messiah in Jerusalem.

With that in mind it is important that we all have a basic understanding of end times prophesy. By now, thanks to the Left Behind series of books and movies, Hal Lindsey’s The Late, Great Planet Earth, and movies like The Omen, The Devil’s Advocate, The Prince of Darkness, Fear No Evil, The Sixth Day and Rosemary’s Baby, most people have heard something about the end times. If you’re a churchgoer you have probably heard a lot more. Most of the dire warnings about the end times can be found in the Bible, particularly in the book of Revelation, although there are mentions in the book of Daniel, Thessalonians, 1st John and others.

One of the most popular verses is Revelations 13:1 which reads “And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.”

Beast3Now the Beast is not a wild animal like a tiger or a lion. He is not a literal animal. Many theologians believe that the Beast refers to a human being or at least something that has the appearance of a human being. This is the Anti-Christ, whom most theologians believe will rise to power and rule with an iron hand over most of the Earth which by this time has pretty much converted to a one world religion. Some people believe the Beast is a country or an organization, but whatever or whoever it turns out to be, it is important not to worship him. The most solemn warning in the Bible is given to people who worship the beast. This warning includes the threat of receiving God’s wrath.  “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath.” Revelation 14:9,10

So, if you worship the beast and receive his mark you will receive the complete wrath of God. Many believe taht the mark of the Beast contains the numerals 666, but whether this is the beginning of a number like a Social Security number or some code stamped on everyone’s wrist or forehead, no one is completely sure. But we do know that it is very important to understand who the beast is so you can avoid worshiping him. That may not be as easy as you might think. For one thing, it means not falling for his tricks. The Bible says that the Beast will perform many signs and wonders so don’t fall to your knees just because someone levitates an automobile or calls down lightening or even raises someone from the dead. Why is warning so strong?

The Beast is Satan claiming to be God

Beast2Worshiping the Beast is worshiping Satan. Satan comes to earth disguised as God. He will wear a costume that makes him appear to be God. He will take on the appearance of God. But he is not God. He is Satan, the great deceiver. Satan has been on the earth for thousands of years. But most of the time he has not been visible to human eyesight. He has existed in the spirit world. Soon he will transform himself into a being that looks and sounds like God.. He will have the appearance of a glorious, heavenly being.

When Satan comes to earth in a visible body he will be glorious, impressive, attractive and charismatic. People will recognize that he is stronger and more majestic than a mere human being. The beast will speak in a melodious voice and he will have friendly, loving eyes. He will be gentle and kind. His appearance will dazzle and charm people. He will be extremely powerful. People will be convinced by their senses that Satan is God.

According to the Bible, people will believe that the beast is God. They will be entranced and drawn to him. They will have an almost irresistible desire to worship the beast. Referring back to Rev. 13:1, the Beast will have seven symbolic heads. Each head will have a blasphemous name. Blasphemy is claiming to be God when you aren’t God. Satan will claim to be God even though he is not God. He will give himself seven names that are variations of God’s name. The reference to the ten horns may refer to ten of Satan’s leading demons. These ten demons will be kings and rule with Satan. This is why each of them is wearing a crown.

When Does the Beast Come

beast6Most authorities on scripture think the Beast may come in our lifetime. The beast will have a supernatural and glorious arrival on earth. He will look like God. People on earth will worship him. Most people will be deceived into believing that he is God. Some theologians think that he will have a supernatural and glorious arrival and that the whole world will quickly become aware of his coming. Others think he will start out as a human being who rises to fame through gaining power and doing seemingly good things and then, once he is well known and powerful turn himself over to the devil to be possessed. Some scriptures have been interpreted as saying that the Antichrist will be a human who is assassinated and then miraculously rises from this mortal wound, fully possessed by Satan and demonstrating great powers.

The Bible describes five major events that will happen on earth just before the beast comes.  The first is a world-wide earthquake. This major earthquake will shake the whole world. It will be accompanied by thunder, lightning and noises.

“Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth.                And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake.” Revelation 8:5

Shortly after the first worldwide earthquake there will be four severe calamities. They are called trumpets in the Bible. These four trumpets will devastate the earth.

Beast5

The First Trumpet

“The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were             thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.”      — Revelation 8:7

A barrage of meteorites hits the earth and thousands of fires are ignited. The crops that are ready for harvest are burned up and one of the trees in the forests are burned up. Now, this is something I don’t think one can fail to notice. But, in case that one gets by you the next one won’t.

The Second Trumpet

“Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was        thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures                in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.” — Revelation 8:8,9

An asteroid the size of a mountain plummets into the ocean. One third of the ships that are sailing on the ocean are sunk and one third of the fish die. The ocean becomes like blood. Maybe the worldwide earthquake could’ve been misinterpreted as many smaller earthquakes, but the ocean turning to blood is hard to explain away.

The Third Trumpet

“Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.”              — Revelation 8:10,11

An asteroid falls to the earth, blazing with fire. The asteroid contains a bitter contaminant. One third of the rivers and springs of water are poisoned. Many people die from drinking the water. The scary truth is that many people believe this trumpet may have already happed. The Bible gives the name of the star that falls to Earth is Wormwood. The Russian reactor that melted down, Chernobyl, which translated into English is Wormwood. Some dispute this and it could be a coincidence because I’m pretty sure the first two trumpets have not yet happened.

The Fourth Trumpet

“Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a     third  of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.” — Revelation 8:12

beast4Basically, one third of the sun, moon and stars are darkened and the day and night turn dark. The smoke and residue from the first three trumpets darkens the air and the sky. Most theologians believe that the first four trumpets occur over the course of a few days. They cause worldwide devastation and they get the attention of everyone on the earth. These calamities are acts of God. They are not caused by man or by Satan. It is evident that God has interrupted the lives of people on earth. People are frightened beyond description. “Is God angry with us?” they are wondering. Preachers are calling on people to repent and return to God. Within a month or two after these four disasters occur, the beast will come. He will say that he is God and that people must repent of their sins and return to him. But he is not God. He is Satan and people should not worship or follow him.  After the Beast comes there will be three more trumpets which are called the Three Woes and heap one plague or disaster after the other upon rebellious mankind.

The Good News

Some theologians believe that the true believers will be taken up to heaven before these tribulations begin in something called The Rapture. Others believe that they will have to endure the tribulations along with everyone else, which includes a mass martyring of those who refuse to worship the Beast. But remember these martyr will go straight to Heaven. For whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it. –Matthew 16::25. According to the New Testament at the end of the tribulation, Jesus will come the second time to rescue His people and take them to heaven. When Jesus comes the beast will be cast into the lake of fire.

“Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.” Revelation 19:20

This does not mean that Satan himself is destroyed at this time. The beast is a costume or disguise that Satan uses. It is Satan’s ability to disguise himself as God that is destroyed in the lake of fire. Satan will never again be allowed to pretend to be God. And that, my friends, along with everlasting life for those who believe in Christ, is the good news in this week’s blog.

beast7

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The Author

James Riordan

James Riordan

Rare is it that any author will have one of his books described as the definitive work on a particular subject, but such a distinction has been bestowed by critics on no less than four books written by James Riordan. The New York Times Bestseller Break on Through, Riordan’s biography of Doors lead singer Jim Morrison, has not only been called “the most objective, thorough and professional Morrison biography” by the Times Book Review but also named as one of the Ten All Time Best Rock Biographies by Amazon.com. Riordan’s The Platinum Rainbow (written with Bob Monaco) was called “One of the best how-to books ever written” by the Los Angeles Daily News and “The ultimate career book on the music industry” by Recording, Engineer & Producer. Critics described Riordan’s The Bishop of Rwanda as “one of the most important books you’ll ever read.” and The Coming of the Walrus, Riordan’s novel about the 60s as “the definitive book on the era” and “a hilarious tale of a harrowing search for the greatest truth of all”. With the release of A Well Thought Out Scream and Madman in the Gate, Riordan pushed the boundaries again with poetry/song lyric books that contain hundreds of stunning, beautiful and poignant images from artists and photographers from all over the world. In the summer of 2013 a new edition of The Coming of the Walrus was released to rave reviews followed by The Kill Switch. The author of thirty-three books, James Riordan’s career began in the music industry where as a songwriter, manager, producer and concert promoter he worked with several well known artists. In 1976 he began writing a newspaper column, Rock-Pop, which he later syndicated. Riordan soon became one of America’s premier rock journalists with articles reaching millions of readers including those of Rolling Stone, Crawdaddy, Circus, Musician, and newspapers like The Chicago Daily News and The Kansas City Star. His reputation for relating on a one-to-one level soon led to interviews with George Harri-son, Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, Frank Zappa, The Doobie Brothers, Kenny Rogers, Barbra Mandrell, Crosby, Stills & Nash and countless others. His first book, The Platinum Rainbow (written with Bob Monaco in 1980) became the largest selling book ever written about the music business. The guide to “succeeding in the music business without selling your soul” was praised by Variety ,The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Las Vegas Sun, The Minneapolis Tribune, Billboard, Record World and many more. The Platinum Rainbow became an industry-wide phenomenon and interviews with James Riordan were aired on over 1200 radio stations and numerous television talk shows. Next Riordan collaborated with Pulitzer Prize winner Jason Miller on a mini-series for network television (The Irish) and a movie of the week for CBS (Bless Me Father). In June 1991, William Morrow & Co. published Break On Through to outstanding sales and reviews. Riordan worked as a consultant on Oliver Stone’s film of Morrison’s life, The Doors, which led to his writing Stone’s biography. Published by Hyperion /Disney in December 1995, Entertainment Weekly called STONE “an unflinching biography... enough spectacle to fill a month of daytime-TV talk shows.” The New York Post said reading the book was like “the sensory overload of watching all of Oliver Stone’s movies back to back.” Riordan was interviewed by Inside Edition, People Magazine, The Tom Snyder Show, and many others. From 1997-2000, Riordan created and co-starred in a local television program, Kankakee Valley Prime Time, which won six Crystal Communicators, three Tellys, and earned Riordan a Chicago/ Midwest Emmy Nomination for Writing the program. In the summer of 1999, James Riordan wrote, directed and starred in Maddance, an hour long dramatic project which won Crystal Communicators for Drama, Writing, Acting and Directing. On April 9, 2000, James’ 16 year old son, Jeremiah, was killed as a passenger in an accident that involved three drunk drivers. Shortly after this, James founded Make it Stick which works to warn teens of the dangers of substance abuse and publishes a magazine distributed to high school students. In 2001, he founded Jeremiah’s – A Place to be Yourself to give teens a place to hang out away from the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Force to close by its incredible growth rate, Jeremiah’s was recognized as one of the fastest growing and most successful teen centers in the United States. In 2004, Toastmasters International named Riordan Communicator of the Year for Central Illinois, the YMCA gave him their Service to Youth Award and the United Way named him the Outstanding Volunteer of Kankakee County. Returning to writing, Riordan went to Africa to write The Bishop of Rwanda, (with an intro by Purpose Driven Life author Rick Warren). In November of 2006, Harper Collins released a new edition of Break On Through followed by The Coming of the Walrus (Image Workshop) in December and The Bishop of Rwanda (Thomas Nelson, Inc.) to rave reviews (“Powerful …plumbs the depths of God’s forgiveness and finds no bottom – Publisher’s Weekly). In 2011, he won the Pledge For Life Harold Award for his work with area youth. In the summer of 2012, Lee and Shane Stanley (Gridiron Gang) optioned Maddance as a feature film followed by Apothecary Films optioning The Kill Switch in 2013 and Omni Films optioning Final Service to film in May. Riordan joined the staff of the Mancow Syndicated Television and Radio show in January of 2014 and is now seen and heard across America on a weekly basis. His biography is included in Who’s Who in Entertainment , Who’s Who in Poetry and Contemporary Authors of America. James Riordan – Works Books The Kill Switch, novel with Andrew Dahlmaine, Stonegate Ink, 2013 The Coming of the Walrus, Trade Paperback Editn, Image Workshop 2012 Springboard To Heaven ( Jojo Sayson Adventure), Image Workshop, 2012 The Elijah Collection, novel collection with Bill Myers, Zondervan, 2011 The Well Thought Out Scream (Poetry/Art), Image Workshop Press, 2009 Madman in the Gate (Poetry/Art), Image Workshop Press, 2009 The Deadly Loyalty Collection, Forbidden Doors, Zondervan, 2009 The Ancient Forces Collection, Forbidden Doors, Zondervan, 2009 The Enemy Strikes with Bill Myers (Elijah Project series. Zondervan, 2009 Deception with Bill Myers (Book 2 Elijah Project series. Zondervan, 2009 The Bishop of Rwanda (Finding Forgiveness) Thomas Nelson, March 2007 Paperback Edition May, 2012 The Coming of the Walrus (What Really Happened in the '60s) IW, 2006 Break on Through (The Life & Death of Jim Morrison), Morrow, 1991. (New York Times Bestseller, Published in 5 languages, Hardcover, 5 Paperback Editions, Harper Trade Paperback November, 2006) Stone (The Controversies, Excesses & Exploits of a Radical Filmmaker), Disney/Hyperion,1995. (Published in 3 languages, Hardcover, Paperback Edition). Making It in the New Music Business, Writers Digest Books, 1987, (Second Edition, Revised and Updated 1991, Two Hardcover Editions) The Platinum Rainbow (How to Succeed in the Music Business Without Selling Your Soul) 250,000 copies with Bob Monaco, Swordsman Press, 1980, Twenty-Three Editions, Revised 1988) 25 Year Anniversary Edition, 2005 Capture the Wind (Microphones) w.Tom Lubin, Literary Mouse Press,1989 Private Biography of Russ Kalvin, founder of Kalvin Corp., 1990 Private Biography of Steve Stefano, founder of Joico Hair Products, 1993. Mystery of the Invisible Knight (Book 2 in the BloodHounds Series) with Bill Myers, Bethany House,1997. Matters of the Heart (The Life & Times of Edgar Cullman), Culbro, 1997. The Curse (Book 7 Forbidden Doors) with Bill Myers, Tyndale, 1997. The Undead (Book 8 Forbidden Doors) with Bill Myers, Tyndale, 1996. The Scream (Book 9 Forbidden Doors) with Bill Myers, Tyndale, 1998 The Ancients (Book 10 Forbidden Doors) with Bill Myers, Tyndale, 1999. The Cards (Book 11 Forbidden Doors Series) with Bill Myers, Tyndale,2000 Films Final Service, co-written with Gary Moore and based on his book, Omni Productions, to be filmed in May, 2014. Maddance, Writer/Director/Lead Actor, Search Engine Films, Simmcomm, 1999. (Winner of 4 Crystal Communicators including Best Drama, Screenplay, Director, Male Actor – Austin, TX.1999) Performance (The Life of Ingrid Bergman), Screenplay, Lancit Productions 1998. Returned to Author when film division closed)Rewritten2009 Shadowdancers, Story & Screenplay, Story with Bill Myers, 1997 Dr. Babylon, Story 1996. Air Guitar, Story & Screenplay, 1994 The Platinum Rainbow, Story & Screenplay, 1993 Television/Video Kankakee Valley Prime Time, Writer, Director, Producer, 1997-2000. (Nominated for Midwest/Chicago Emmy for Writing, 1998, 3 Telly Awards, 4 Crystal Communicators 1998-2000). Angels Among Us (The Amtrak City of New Orleans Train Disaster, Co- Producer, (Telly Award, 2000). River Valley Sports Authority, Producer, 1999-2003. I Hate The World (Hypnoises Music Video), Writer/Director/Producer, Crystal Communicator for Best Music Video Concept, 1998). The United Way (Video) Crystal Communicator for Best Video for a Charitable Organization, 1998.

If it isn't money and it isn't fame and it isn't sex... then what... God?

— James Riordan, 2000

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