Revelation - 11

Revelation message, part 11

This is the sermon that I was planning to do March 9 – but the Blizzard hit and I didn’t come and deliver it to no one…Let’s pray:

Father, thank You for the weather being nicer today – Our desire is to learn from You – give us hearts to be filled with You and ears to listen. Help me to have a heart to speak Your word that You would be glorified. May Your grace flow through our lives - That we might be able to touch others because of what your work has done in us. Keep Simeon Hruby safe as he is being deployed and give Chuck and Dorothy peace that he is in Your hands. Protect all our soldiers and give us peace.

Simeon is in Germany right now and will be deployed soon.

We will be looking at the antichrist – I was planning to do a sermon on heaven the week after Easter - this was the sermon I was supposed to give the day of the Blizzard – so instead I am looking at about the opposite of what I was planning to

This metanarrative – this story that the Book of Revelation takes us through – remember – this is the gospel message –It starts with God the Creator. God had a purpose – Created with a purpose in mind. The very second thing that happened in the history of the universe is the Fall of Satan. We don’t know the timing of it exactly, but Chapter 12 describes it a bit:

Rev. 12:7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

This was the one who was in The Garden. What does he do? He deceives the whole world – the point of his deception is to cause people to turn from God – to turn away their worship from God and to turn them toward him that he might receive their worship. Then he goes after the Child. The devil first tried to kill the Baby that was born to the woman – and when that failed – he tried to kill Him 33 years later -

Satan believes he has won – but has lost because of the cross.

17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

Now, what Satan has been doing since that point is going after The Church.

The beast is in contrast to the Lamb. Remember, the Lamb had crowns on his head – then we have Satan – and God. The Beast/ and the Lamb.

Rev. 13: 2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like [those] of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority

This false Christ has been given power and authority from the dragon. It is no different than the devil in human form. A false incarnation. He is a person with all the power of the dragon.

3 And [I saw] one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed [and followed] after the beast;

A false Christ, a false incarnation, a false resurrection.

It is an imitation of God’s plan.

4 and they worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?"…

8 And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, [everyone] whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

His original goal – to raise himself above God. His plan has not changed. The plan is going and he has the whole world, except the church, worshiping him.

Then there is a false kingdom

11 And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.

You have the dragon – False god. The beast – false Christ. His job is to direct people to worship the dragon. This is a false holy spirit.

You are either in the kingdom of God or the kingdom of the dragon. Now you have an unholy trinity. And the whole world is flocking to this unholy trinity. Satan’s goal is to replace God. He wants people to turn from worshiping God to worshiping him. He will use wealth, false religion, philosophy, science – whatever he has to use – he deceives the whole world. That is what he does – he deceives people,

Education TV- PBS, Nova, the Simpsons – How did that slip in there?!

All cultures, they are discovering – have a story of a serpent/dragon. Can’t they figure it out? They think that means the Bible is WRONG! Maybe the reason all ancient stories have a serpent and flood – because there was one!

In Chapters 14-16 – Martyrs/Witnesses – those who are killed for witnessing for Christ.

Then the bowl judgments.

Chapter 17 – This is more detailed than the other judgments.

17:1 And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here, I shall show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters

The great harlot…

2 with whom the kings of the earth committed [acts of] immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality. " 3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality,

Jump to 19:7 – to see who he is talking about here – each character is in contrast to something in his kingdom…

Revelation 19: 7 "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready." 8 And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright [and] clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

There is a contrast between the harlot and the Bride.

We have the false god, the false Christ, the false holy spirit, the false trinity – now we have the false bride – the harlot in contrast to the true bride, the church.

When the Bible speaks of harlotry, it speaks of unfaithfulness. This is a picture – it represents an unfaithful people to God – a people who have rejected God’s authority and gone to worship other gods.

This is a representation of a people who have rejected God’s authority and have placed themselves under the authority of this dragon. What are these people like? Sexual immorality – greed, wealth, injustice, power, and violence. Those are the characteristics of the world system that has rejected God. This system goes on all the time – a simple picture of what the world is like apart from Christ. We can see it in our land – in any land – unless Christ has taken control in a land.

5 and upon her forehead a name [was] written, a mystery, "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

What we are really looking at – in apocalyptic literature, Daniel, etc – Babylon came in and defeated Israel – they were powerful, sexually immoral, wealthy – just go down the line – worship of everything that goes against God. This harlot is the world’s system that goes against God.

For these folks – the seven churches this was written to- who was this written about? IT was obvious - Rome. Luther and Calvin believed it was the corrupted Roman Church – which was engaged in violence. Others believe it was Adolph Hitler. Others think it is Iraq. Some thought it was the European Economic Community – or the United Nations back in the 50s – but there is a world system that wants to move away from God – and there will be an ultimate one someday.

Remember the seals – when the sixth seal was open the sky split apart and the people said to the rocks and mountains to fall on them. Now we have the same scene – but looking at it from Heaven’s perspective.

Rev. 19: 11 And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it [is] called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 And His eyes [are] a flame of fire, and upon His head [are] many diadems; and He has a name written [upon Him] which no one knows except Himself. 13 And [He is] clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white [and] clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."

Remember, when we started Revelation – the first thing was a white horse – and now it will close with a white horse – symbolic of the Ruler – the King. Let’s look at the characteristics of the Rider on the White Horse. This is the Lamb – the Christ. From our own growth and perspective – let’s look back –

And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it [is] called Faithful and True;

He is faithful and True. In context – when you think of these people who are undergoing struggle and persecution – and waiting for a time of justice and vengeance. Throughout Revelation – they are saying – How long do we have to wait? Look – God will do what He has promised. God can, in the end, be trusted completely. In the midst of the circumstance and situation you find yourself in – the reality is often not how it appears. These people were going through some significant things. It didn’t seem like God was coming through for them. John was saying – it might not be in your timing or how you would choose for it to happen – but God can be trusted in your life no matter what you face or what you are going through.

That is the first message the writer wants to communicate – He can be trusted.

and in righteousness He judges and wages war.

Life is not fair. That is just the reality – why does it seem like those who are the nicest people in the world seem to have the truckload of problems. Life itself is unfair – it does not seem to work at times. He is saying – in the end, God’s justice – in righteousness He judges – His justice will be right. When all is done, there will be no argument from anyone. No one will be able to stand before God and say You were unfair. Yes, life can be unfair – but God, completely right and just in absolutely everything. That is hard to see from our vantage point – and that is why John closes from Heaven’s vantage point.

12 And His eyes [are] a flame of fire,

He looks inside of you and knows what is going on in your heart. Every dark space is lit up. Think of this Rider – and all these people on earth – He is peering into the hearts of the wicked – What a fearful event. That is why they are thinking, Mountain, fall on me! Their lives are being laid bare. Someday every life and every evil thought and act will be opened up – and they will see it all.

and upon His head [are] many diadems;

Crowns – Many – is connecting with vs. 16 – He is the ruler over all – King of Kings and Lord of Lords – He reigns supreme. He has complete authority over all authorities. There is nothing that is out of His control – no system, no government that He does not have control over that He will someday put to an end.

and He has a name written [upon Him] which no one knows except Himself.

In ancient religions – the name of the god was the power of the god. When people called upon the name of a god – when armies battled – it is whose god was more powerful that they believed would win. They believed that gods had secret names – and if they discovered the name, that they had power over that god – they were controlling the god – He is saying – Look! No one controls Me. No one has power over Me.

13 And [He is] clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God.

Some think the robe is covered in blood from the winepress of the fierce wrath of God the Almighty –

The saints who have the clean linens – have been washed in the blood of the Lamb. He is covered in blood because He died on the cross for our sins. He is the only one who is injured – by His stripes we are healed.

14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white [and] clean, were following Him on white horses.

That is us! – Won’t that be exciting – I don’t know about riding on white horses – I don’t like riding on horses – maybe He’ll give me a motorcycle…

15 And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."

God relates to us by His word- John 1:1 – There is a simple sense that HE HAS A RELATIONSHIP with us and communicates – it is an intimate relationship that anyone can have with Him.

We have these two kingdoms – there is nothing in between. Your neighbors and the people you work with – may be really nice people – but if they don’t know Christ – they are in the kingdom of the dragon – we need to be shocked with that thought.

Let’s pray:

Lord, thank You. Help us. Help us to recognize that though we may not understand a lot of the symbols in this book, or who the antichrist is, what is clear is that people will either be with You or with the dragon. Help us to have a heart for people – that we might love them and communicate the message of the Lamb. In Your Name we pray. Amen.

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