Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Revelation 13 - 15

Revelation 13 – The Beast from the Sea
                1.            Satan ALWAYS opposes God.
                2.            Satan is NOT creative, can only imitate.
Revelation 5:6 à Lamb “as though it had been slain,” 7 horns and 7 eyes.
Revelation 13:11 à Lamb – 2 horns, spoke like a dragon.
                3.            Two words for “beast” in Revelation:
                                a.            “zoon” – ALWAYS refers to God’s beasts.
                                b.            “therion” – ALWAYS refers to the Satanic.

I.             “Political beast.”
                A.            Description:
                                1.            [Verse 1] “Out of the sea.”
                                                a.            Adam created out of the earth.
                                                b.            “Evolution” claims life came from the sea.

                                2.            Physical appearance:
                                                a.            10 horns = perfect/complete power.
***** 10 was the symbol of Rome, “X” was a symbol of the cross, 10 wanting in Sodom, 10 pillars in the temple, 10 commandments, 10% tithe.  Dispensationalists claimed 10 nations would make up the European Union (resurrecting the Roman Empire).
                                                b.            7 heads = perfect wisdom, knowledge (universal).
                                                c.             10 crowns = absolute authority.
                                                d.            Blasphemous names (mockery of God).
                B.            Scope:
                                1.            “One world government.”
                                                a.            Effects of the “wrath of God” seem to be global.
                                                b.            Scope of the wars already mentioned might be global.

                                2.            “Regional government.”
                                                a.            The Bible never mentions nations outside the context of Israel or the                                                                    church.
                                                b.            The following events do not have to be global to be true.

                C.            Political images (four beasts of Daniel 7).
                                1.            Leopard = swiftness.
                                2.            Bear = force, fierce.
                                3.            Lion = authority.
***** These qualities have been common at all times by the persecutors of the church and Israel.
                                4.            Power comes from Satan (the Dragon).
                D.            Its ability to deceive:
                                1.            [Verse 3] Healed what looked like a mortal wound.
                                                a.            Lamb of God à death and resurrection of Jesus.
                                                b.            Again an imitation.

***** Experience is NOT “proof” because it is interpreted.
                                2.            Various interpretations:
                                                a.            Resurrection of the Roman Empire.
                                                b.            The angel Michael inflicted the wound in the war in heaven.
                                                c.             Nero is resurrected.

“The whole earth marveled as they followed the beast” (wonder = worship verse 4).
                E.            Its rule:
                                1.            Blasphemous [verses 5 – 6].
                                2.            42 months [verse 6].
                                3.            War on the “saints” [verse 7]. (CAUTION: this may not be in the text).
***** The word “saints” never refers to Israel, only the church.
                F.            Its effect:
                                1.            Gains authority, then worship of the earth.
                                2.            (APPARENTLY) persecutes the church (captivity and death).
*** Endurance (patience) and faithfulness is called for.

Revelation 14
What’s the story?
                1.            Chapter 13 – It appears as if the false has won.
                2.            Today: personal struggles; culture seems to be losing ground; church is losing “punch.”
                3.            Christian response seems to be to crawl under a rock: 96% of Christians will not share                                    their faith in their life time (Billy Graham); compromise with the politically correct views                                of culture; doubt about Jesus, the Bible, etc.; growing ignorance about the Bible and                                           basic theology; growing intolerance to the basics of discipleship.
1.            The eternal gospel [6 – 7]
                a.            Fear God
ü  History lesson: After the civil war Christians focused on personal response. After World War II Christians focused on personal benefits. Currently focusing on personal experience.
ü  “Fear” is not a word we want to associate with God.
ü  The concept of God has gotten wishy-washy, timid, unassertive, spineless candy machine.
ü  Unbeliever à judgement and eternal life.
ü  Follower of Jesus à Hebrews 12:28 – 29.
***** REALITY the Greek word here is “phobeo,” to terrify. The verb is also an “imperative” meaning there is no choice. *****
Why am I saying this? Because understanding the awesome, undeniable, holy power of God is the FIRST step in both wisdom and understanding.  (According to Proverbs).  Without a genuine fear of God we can never understand the depths of His love for us.
“Familiarity breeds contempt.”  We “think” we know God. In reality we can know Him only to the extent we know the Bible.
SEQUENCE: Fear God, repent, walk worthy of the calling we have received. [NOT possible to be saved without genuine life changing fear of God and repentance].  Why is this critical? Hebrews 12:14 is clear. No one will see the Lord without holiness (meaning without holiness we spend eternity in hell.)
                b.            Give God glory.
Ø  Problem: we tend to reduce this to a simple emotion or response.
Ø  God’s honor (glory) is the only thing He does not and will not share.
Ø  Basically this is the other side of “fear.”

                c.             Worship God as maker of heaven and earth
Ø  Worship means to “honor.”
Ø  This is not just words: It’s actions; it’s attitude; it’s affections.
Ø  Where are the Christians when Jesus is blasphemed and God is mocked?
2.            Why?
                a.            The hour of judgement has come [verse 7].
·         Hebrews 9:27: Everyone has a set appointment with death and judgement.
·         Hebrews 9:28 tells us the parallel idea: Jesus has been offered to bear our sin and will return to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
·         Parable of the 10 virgins waiting for the wedding feast.  Five prepared, five not.
·         Hebrews 3:19 tells us that God’s chosen people failed to enter the Promised Land because of their unbelief.
·         Psalm 95:10 tells us “for 40 years I LOATHED that generation.”
                b.            Babylon has fallen [verse 8].
·         Babylon is a word picture of Satan’s kingdom. (Jerusalem is the word picture of God’s kingdom.)
·         Sequentially Babylon has not yet fallen (Revelation 18)
·         Gives the “already but not yet” feeling.
·         “Being saved”: 1 Corinthians 1:18, 1 Corinthians 15:2
·         We are in process. PROBLEM: We tend to think of salvation as the destination.
                c.             Torment is forever and ever [verse 11].
·         This is why the “gospel” (good news) is so compelling. 
·         Separated from Jesus there is eternal torment.
·         Torment implies justice.              
                d.            Judgement will happen [verses 14 – 20].
·         TRUE condition of humanity: Romans 3:10 – 18
·         There is a point called “justice.”
3.            What is our response?
                a.            Endurance [verse 12].
                b.            Keep the commandments of God [verse 12].
                c.             Keep the faith in Jesus [verse 12].

Revelation 15
I.             God’s wrath will end.
                A.            Two points of view.
                                1.            Heaven.
                                                a.            God’s wrath poured out on humanity.
                                                b.            Humanity suffers.
                                2.            Earth.
                                                a.            The beast wars against the saints.
                                                b.            Christians suffer.
                B.            “Already – Not Yet.”
                                1.            The song is sung while the beast wars.
                                                a.            Singing in heaven.
                                                b.            War on earth.
                                2.            Sin will always be linked to suffering.
                                                a.            The day will come that there will be no need for plague, etc.
                                                b.            Those that see it will sing!
II.            God’s people will sing.
                A.            Because of victory.
                                1.            Victory gained.
                                                a.            Already overcame the beast.
                                                b.            Now beyond the beast’s ability to attack.
                                2.            Victory anticipated.
                                                a.            The battle is still going,
                                                b.            But the end has been pronounced.
                B.            Because of God.
                                1.            God’s holiness.
                                                a.            Sacred, separated pure.
                                                b.            God is above everything à affected by nothing.
                                2.            God’s righteousness.
                                                a.            Regardless of the situation = God is right!
                                                b.            God does what is right.
                C.            The name of the song.
                                1.            The song of Moses.
                                                a.            Moses à symbol of the Old Testament and the Law.
                                                b.            Song of victory (God’s deliverance).
                                2.            The song of the Lamb.
                                                a.            Jesus à symbol of the New Testament and grace.
                                                b.            Song of victory.
                                3.            The point: Old Testament and New Testament (Israel and church) are not                                                            separate. They are different in make-up but one in salvation and destiny.
III.           God’s temple will close.
                A.            Because of judgement.
                                1.            There is a time, a point, when God will not offer salvation.
                                2.            The offer is based on God’s work and conditional by our response.
                                3.            God is not obligated to keep the offer open.
                B.            Because of the glory of God.
                                1.            No one can stand in God’s glory.
                                2.            Dedication of the Temple: I Kings 8:10-11 à cloud filled temple; service could                                                    not be performed.

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