17.4 Revelation – No Agnostics

No Agnostics

The beast and second beast come into the world to deceive.  But, in particular, I think the second beast is allowed to force a choice.

Jesus has paid the price of sin for all.  The gift of the spirit and of eternal salvation is free and available to any human.  But, many sit on the fence.  They don’t openly oppose God, nor do they side with Him.  By not accepting the gift, they, have in essence, rejected it, but this leaves an element of doubt, of possibility.

Satan does not desire to leave things to the grace and mercy of God.  God is the judge.  He is just and jealous.  But Satan wants no doubt and God desires to allow each individual to choose (not simply to choose not to choose as many try to do today).

The mark of the beast eliminates this.  Unlike the inward mark of the Holy Spirit, this is an outward and visible sign of a decision.  Those with the mark, chose it.  Those without, chose Jesus.  Those without chose hardship, starvation, poverty, being subjected to war and oppression and hatred.  It would not be an easy decision to choose this for yourself, let alone for your family, but the everlasting pay-off is beyond huge.

And, let’s face it, no one would have the strength to choose this path on their own.  It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit, to strengthen, to guide and to feed faith, that someone would have the strength to make this choice.  But, Jesus promises exactly this provision.  His promise is firm and true.  The power of God is absolute.

So for those you know (yourself?) who have not yet committed your life to Jesus Christ, who are trying to keep one foot in both light and darkness, there is urgency.  Now is the time.  IMHO it would be impossible for anyone to make the decision not to receive the mark of the beast without the presence of Jesus in his or her life.  Without the power of the Holy Spirit how could anyone make the choice to starve their family, enter poverty and face daily and constant hatred?

My Answers:

9.
all authority of the 1st beast on its behalf, made the earth worship the beast, performed great signs (fire from heaven), to deceive

10.
a.
To deceive, to force a choice

b.
Moses: To speak truth as commanded, so that the egyptians will know that I (God) am Lord
Elijah: let it be known You are Godin Israel and I am your servant, done as commanded
Jesus: They may believe, receive life, call on name of Lordfor salvation

11.
a.
a mark (the name of the beast and number of its name) on right hand and forehead, could not buy or sell unless had the mark, the number of a man (humanity’s number), 666

b.
The Holy Spirit, gifts of the spirit, knowledge of God, ability to accept the gift of faith, eternal life, written in the book of Life

c.
Scriptures speak the truth – Revelation is a gift to those who hear it, read it aloud and heed its words and warnings.

16.4 Revelation – They = Us

They = Us

Revelation 12:11 states, “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”

The question is, who is “they.”

At first blush, it would be easy to interpret the they as the angels.  This verse comes from a loud voice in heaven directly after Michael and his angels defeat the dragon and his angels and cast satan out of heaven to earth.

But, I’m going to offer an alternative for consideration.  The sentence immediately prior to 11 states, “For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.”  What if, instead of the angels, the “they” in verse 11 instead refers to the brothers and sisters?

If this is the interpretation, then we, as believers defeated satan even as the angels taking up arms and waging battle against him.  He was defeated not by our power or goodness or strength, but by the blood of the lamb and by the word (God’s word) brought to the world through our testimony (that is changed lives).

Our triumph, through the saving grace of the blood of Christ, over the accuser would be the root of his demise.  If we were simply un-redeemed sinners, then his accusations before God would be the truth and that truth would have a place in heaven.  But, because of the blood of the lamb, we are redeemed and the price of our sins has been paid-in-full.  The dragon then is spewing forth false accusations and false testimony against those who now stand as witnesses, through their testimony, to the power of the sacrifice and resurrection of the Son of God.

As humans, we will die, but as saved souls we do not shrink from death.  We don’t look forward to dying and we mourn for those who have died, but we recognize it is not the end, but simply a portal to cross to an eternal life.  And, unlike the dragon and his angels, our eternal life will be spent in heaven rejoicing with the angels.

My Answers:

9.
He was thrown out of heaven (out of God’s presence) – God has forgiven them and wiped the slate clean – no one is there rehashing old wounds and bringing the up again and again

10.
a. As co-heirs with Christ, they shared in the glory and victory, through obedience and submission  under christ to reject Satan
b. We are reconciled through the blood (saved) – he died while we were unbelievers, now are in unity to all heaven under Christ
c. Eternal life is only through Jesus, Blessedd. God is first – whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever gives his life over to Jesus, lives forever, christ died for us

11.
a.
It has emphasized the disparity between God and Satan.  We sometimes elevate satan to an undue level.  He is just an angel – not God, not a son of God, not the Holy Spirit.

b.
Lo! he comes, with clouds descending, once for our salvation slain; thousand thousand saints attending swell the triumph of his train: Alleluia! alleluia! alleluia!