DECIDE NOW WHO TO FOLLOW!

I don’t know of anyone on earth who likes to be “handled” by arrogant people who think they know it all with the intention of gaining control over us.  Only God in heaven can be trusted to have our best interests at heart—His heart!  Who we follow and obey is who we trust completely.  Who we believe and learn from with respect and awe shows in our behaviors.  Who we give ourselves to without thinking or contemplating what we will get in return becomes who we worship. 

I pray it is God for only God can save us.  It is God who loves us so much He sent His son to redeem us for Life forever.  It is Jesus, His Son, that tore down the veil between mankind and God and gained our entrance to the throne of God!  It is Jesus who taught us to love God, each other and even our enemies supremely, unconditionally, relentlessly, holding nothing back. 

We’re in this together as long as we stand firm in our relationship with God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  “Fear not!” we are told over and over again in the Word of God who became flesh on earth and moved into the neighborhood of mankind.  If we are with Jesus, leaning on HIS understanding for what lies ahead, really listening to Him with obedient hearts ready to serve with His love in our hearts, we have nothing to fear.

Who hasn’t had a “beast” or two in our lives in the past or currently?  Who hasn’t experienced the evil of beastly assistants who tried to wreak havoc in our lives, pull us away from what we know to be right and good, with the ultimate purpose to get rid of us and our testimony about the God we love?  They seem to rise up out of nowhere when we least expect it—so expect it! All humans (believers and nonbelievers) have experienced this, I am sure!  I’ve heard the stories!

According to John’s vision, it will get worse before it gets better, but it WILL get better.  So, stay strong in the Lord by His strength and wisdom working in us and through us to help others.  Love as if you lives depended on it—for it does!  I want to be on God’s side!

REVELATION—JESUS IS COMING BACK!

Revelation 13, The Message

The Beast from the Sea

1-2 And the Dragon stood on the shore of the sea. I saw a Beast rising from the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads—on each horn a crown, and each head inscribed with a blasphemous name. The Beast I saw looked like a leopard with bear paws and a lion’s mouth. The Dragon turned over its power to it, its throne and great authority.

3-4 One of the Beast’s heads looked as if it had been struck a deathblow, and then healed. The whole earth was agog, gaping at the Beast. They worshiped the Dragon who gave the Beast authority, and they worshiped the Beast, exclaiming, “There’s never been anything like the Beast! No one would dare go to war with the Beast!”

5-8 The Beast had a loud mouth, boastful and blasphemous. It could do anything it wanted for forty-two months. It yelled blasphemies against God, blasphemed his Name, blasphemed his Church, especially those already dwelling with God in Heaven. It was permitted to make war on God’s holy people and conquer them. It held absolute sway over all tribes and peoples, tongues and races. Everyone on earth whose name was not written from the world’s foundation in the slaughtered Lamb’s Book of Life will worship the Beast.

9-10 Are you listening to this? They’ve made their bed; now they must lie in it. Anyone marked for prison goes straight to prison; anyone pulling a sword goes down by the sword. Meanwhile, God’s holy people passionately and faithfully stand their ground.

The Beast from Under the Ground

11-12 I saw another Beast rising out of the ground. It had two horns like a lamb but sounded like a dragon when it spoke. It was a puppet of the first Beast, made earth and everyone in it worship the first Beast, which had been healed of its deathblow.

13-17 This second Beast worked magical signs, dazzling people by making fire come down from Heaven. It used the magic it got from the Beast to dupe earth dwellers, getting them to make an image of the Beast that received the deathblow and lived. It was able to animate the image of the Beast so that it talked, and then arrange that anyone not worshiping the Beast would be killed. It forced all people, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to have a mark on the right hand or forehead. Without the mark of the name of the Beast or the number of its name, it was impossible to buy or sell anything.

18 Solve a riddle: Put your heads together and figure out the meaning of the number of the Beast. It’s a human number: 666.

CONSIDER THIS—

(Going deeper still with the help of theologian and Bible Commentator, Warren Wiersbe.)

Some texts read, “And he [Satan] stood upon the sand of the sea.” The sea symbolizes the Gentile nations (Rev. 17:15). From one of them, Satan will bring forth his “Super Leader,” the man we call “Antichrist.” Up to this point, Antichrist has headed a ten-nation European league, but now he is about to embark on a new career as Satan’s world dictator.  Yes, it will get worse before it gets better.  But God is in control.  Remember that!

The symbolic description of “the beast” enables us to learn something about his origin and character. God does not see him as a man, made in the divine image, but as a wild animal, under the control of Satan. He is a man (Rev. 13:18), but he is energized from hell, for he comes out of the pit (Rev. 11:7; 17:8). Just as Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, so “the beast” will be Satan in a human body (see John 13:2, 27).  Whoa, be warned and alert!

The ten horns represent ten kingdoms (Dan. 7:24; Rev. 17:12). It appears that “the beast” will head a “United States of Europe,” a revived Roman Empire, before taking over as world dictator. All nations will no doubt admire and thank him for the “peace” he has achieved, little realizing the sorrow and destruction he will bring to the world.

The three animals named in Revelation 13:2 remind us of the four beasts Daniel saw in his dream (Dan. 7): a lion (Babylon), a bear (Media-Persia), a leopard (Greece), and a “terrible beast” (the Antichrist). John saw these animals, or kingdoms, in reverse order since he was looking back, while Daniel was looking ahead. The final world empire will be rooted in all the previous empires and unite in one their evil and power. Added to the ferocity of these beasts will be Satan’s own power, throne, and authority!

“It is best, I think, to apply this prophecy to individual persons. Not only will there be wonder, but there will also be worship (Rev. 13:4). Worship is the one thing Satan has always wanted (Matt. 4:8–10), and he will receive it through “the beast.” The second “beast,” described in the last half of this chapter, will organize and promote the worship of Antichrist, making it the official religion of the world!”  (Wiersbe)

There will also be words (Rev. 13:5–6). Almost all dictators have risen to power by controlling people with their words through great speeches.  Daniel also heard “the beast’s” blasphemous words (Dan. 7:25).

Finally, there will be war (Rev. 13:7–10). God will permit Antichrist to war against His people (“wear out the saints,” Dan. 7:25) and even to defeat some of them. John prophesied that some of the saints will be captured and some will be martyred. But because of their faith, they will have patience, or endurance (see Heb. 6:12; Rev. 1:9), and will not deny the Lord in spite of persecution and death.  No matter what, believers in Jesus stand firm.  I am reminded daily of what Job said during his “hellish” trials of faith, “Yet, will I trust Him”.

The world’s population will be divided: those who are saved, with their names in God’s book, will not submit to “the beast”; those who are lost—the earth-dwellers—will worship “the beast” and do his bidding.  Whose side are we on?  Likewise in every age of the church, true believers have had to take their stand for Christ, come what may.

Keep in mind that “the beast” is a counterfeit Christ. The world would not receive Christ, but it will receive Antichrist (John 5:43). The world would not believe the truth, but they will believe the lie (2 Thess. 2:8–12).  Yikes.  We have been warned. 

In Revelation 16:13; 19:20; and 20:10, the beast from the earth is called “the false prophet.” The dragon or Satan is the counterfeit Father (“I will be like the Most High”), “the beast” is the counterfeit Christ, and the false prophet is the counterfeit Holy Spirit. This completes the satanic trinity.

One of the ministries of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Christ and lead people to trust and worship Him (John 16:7–15). The false prophet will point to Antichrist and his image and compel people to worship Satan through “the beast.”

Our Lord warned that there would be false prophets (Matt. 24:11, 24), and this one will be the greatest. He will have the “character” of a lamb but the voice of the dragon. What a deceiver he will be—and all the world will listen to him!

The mystical 666—(Thoughts by Wiersbe)

“Since man was created on the sixth day, six is the number of man. Creation was made for man and likewise has the number six stamped on it: twenty-four hours to a day (4 x 6), twelve months to a year (2 x 6). Seven is the number of perfection and fullness, but six is the “human number,” just short of perfection. Despite all man’s imaginative calculations, we must confess that no one knows the meaning of this number and name. No doubt believers on earth at that time will understand it clearly. The ‘satanic trinity’ cannot claim the number seven; it must settle for 666.”

The Bottom Line:  An antichristian system pervades our world, and true believers must not be a part of it (1 John 2:15–17). We must shun false worship (1 Cor. 10:14–22), that we may be found faithful to the Lord in these last days (2 Tim. 3)!  Our decision will decide our destiny!

Jesus is coming back!  Through it all, God has not relinquished His ultimate control!

Lord,

If it were not for you, we would be lost forever.  Thank you for saving us then teaching us your ways to live abundantly, rich in love, mercy and grace, free from sin.

In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen!

Someday, we’ll be together

Yes we will, yes we will…

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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