Home » Posts tagged 'Religion'

Tag Archives: Religion

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “he spake as a dragon”

SIH STSTA ICONRev 13:11 KJV

(11)  And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

 

 

In our last devotional, we saw that the beast from the earth (symbolic of false religions and false prophets and teachers) can appear to be innocent and harmless.  In our devotional for this morning we will see that, although they appear innocent and harmless, in actuality they are very deceitful.  They follow their leader, Satan, as they speak deceitfully with intent to harm the people of Christ.

We are told that this beast “spake as a dragon” (Satan).

Therefore, to understand the speech of this beast, we must come to an understanding of the speech of his father, Satan.  Christ, during His earthly ministry addressed this very subject…

“Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.   Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.   And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.”  (Joh 8:43-45 KJV)

In this passage the Lord points out several truths about the nature and speech of Satan.  Christ tells us that Satan:

  1. Is a murderer from the beginning – In other words, he actively works to bring death to mankind. This happened through his intervention at the fall of man and then continues throughout history through the false teachings of his political powers that proclaim the message that leads men to their eternal spiritual death.
  1. Abides not in the truth because there is no truth in him.­ – In other words, truth cannot be found in him. Because his nature is to deceive and mislead, he lives a life filled with constant deceit and lies.
  1. He is a liar and the father of all lies – In other words, he is the originator of deceitful, misleading words and lives a lifestyle of the same.

All of these points helps us to understand the message presented by the false religions and prophets of this world.  They consistently mislead others by proclaiming error that is meant to lead men away from Christ and to their eternal spiritual death.  It is in this sense that they speak “as a dragon”.

 

Folks, in the last two devotionals, we have had set before us a clear declaration of the ministry of the false religions that have existed throughout history.   With this clear declaration comes the responsibility to guard against the lies of these religions.  But, not only are we to guard against these false teachings, but we must clearly present the truths of God’s Word, to counteract the lies of Satan’s false teachers…

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;    Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.     For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;    And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.     But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”  (2Ti 4:1-5 KJV)

Although the above verses are addressed to a pastor (Timothy), it is important to remember that, to a lesser degree, we are all responsible to present the truths of Christ to a lost and dying world.  In doing so, we are giving to them the good news of Christ, His work on their behalf and the wonderful eternity that awaits all of those who have placed their faith in Christ!

 

May we all speak the truth and live the truth, opposing the lies of this world’s false religions.  In doing so, we are giving much needed light to a world that is encased in the darkness of Satanic deceit.

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-46m

 

 

 

False prophets and religions come as lambs speaking the lies of Satan. May we all be on guard!

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 13:11 KJV – And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-46s

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “he had two horns like a lamb ”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 13:11 KJV

(11)  And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

 

 

In this section of John’s vision, he sees the beast from the earth (symbolic of false religions and false teachers).

In his description of this beast, John states “he had two horns like a lamb”.   This description helps us to understand the very deceitful nature of this beast.   Although this beast is very harmful to man, he looks very innocent, meek and kind…. Just like a lamb.  They look and many times sound very tame and harmless.  Their teaching honors men and degrades the truths about our God; while they minimize our need of the true Christ and emphasize our great need of another god.

These other gods can take the form of idols made with men’s hands; or the wealth, fame and authority of this world; or perhaps, present man, himself, as the key to resolving all of our problems and shortcomings.  But in reality, the god they present to mankind is the god of this world, Satan, and the need to follow his teachings to their ultimate destruction.

This reminds us of the teaching of Christ, in which he emphasizes that the nature of false religions, and the individuals who teach their doctrine, is appearing deceitfully gentle while being inwardly destructive….

Mat 7:15-17 KJV – “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.   Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?   Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.”

Christ not only emphasizes the deceitful nature of false teachers and religions, but He goes further and helps us to understand how we can recognize them in spite of their deceitful appearance.   He tells us that “Ye shall know them by their fruits”.  

So what are the fruits we are to look for when he attempt to discern between true and false teaching?

Teachers of the truth will bear the following fruits as a part of their teachings….

  1. Their teachings will align themselves with the teachings of God’s Word (1 Tim 6:3-5)
  2. Their message will always exalt Christ as the true Messiah, Lord and Savior of the world. (Acts 4:8-12, 1 John 2:22-23)
  3. Their message will present man as in desperate need of Christ, and Christ alone. (Roms 3:23-26)
  4. Their message will always present the remedy to mankind’s sinful condition as described in the gospel… Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, along with its proofs . (Gals 1:8-9)
  5. Their message will center on the need for faith, apart from works, for the receipt of salvation (Acts 3:15-16)

These are just a few of the marks of a true messenger sent by God to minister to a lost and dying world.  May we all seek out churches and men of God who hold forth these fruits in their teaching ministry.    

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-46m

Is Our Service Characterized By Patience and Faith?

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 13:10 KJV – (10)  He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

 

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-46h

Revelation 13:11-15 “The Beast From The Earth”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

 

Rev 13:11-15 KJV

(11)  And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
(12)  And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
(13)  And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
(14)  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
(15)  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

In chapter 12, we saw a defeated Satan’s continuing opposition against the Lord and His people.  Throughout the ages, Satan has used the political kingdoms of this fallen world as tools in an attempt to abuse, persecute and even martyr the people of God.

We have looked at the POLITICAL powers of the world and how Satan has used them throughout history to afflict the people of God.  We saw this aspect of Satan’s kingdom in vs 1-10.

In the middle portion of chapter 13 (vs 11-15), we will learn more about the SPIRITUAL kingdoms of this world as they afflict the people of God.  Then, in the following portion of chapter 13, we will be introduced the “mark” (major characteristic) of those who join the beast in its stand against the people of God.

  1. The Beast of the Sea – The Political Kingdoms of This World (13:1-10)
  2. The Beast of the Earth – The False Religious Kingdoms of This World (13:11-15)
  3. The Mark of the Beast – The Number of Humanism (13:16-18)

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Rev 13:11-15 KJV 

(11)  And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

After John sees the beast of the sea (the political kingdoms of the world being used by Satan to afflict the people of God), his attention is turned to another beast.   This beast will be symbolic of the RELIGIOUS kingdoms of this world, ie the false religions of this world, that are used by Satan to oppose God, His truths, and His people.  He is called “the false prophet” in Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10.

John gives us a very detailed description of this beast.  First of all it is described as “another” beast.  This word means “another of the same type” of beast.  In other words, it is another wild, dangerous, enemy of God and His people.

 

John continues with a description of the physical appearance of the beast…

 

Description References Symbolism
Comes Up Out Of The Earth Daniel 7:17 This beast finds its origin in the sinful fallen earth. False religions appeal to the carnal nature in men, who desire to fulfill the spiritual viod in their life, but refuse to submit to the true God.  In response, they create false gods and willingly submit to them.
2 Horns Like A Lamb Daniel 7:8, Matt 7:15 This beast appears as a lamb, counterfeiting Christ.  All false religions attempt to replace the True Lamb of God as the source of life, salvation and blessings.   Horns are pictures of power and weapons.  The false promises and teachings given by false religions are the source of their strength and weapons of warfare against the Lord and His people.
Speaks Like A Dragon John 8:44,2 Cor 11:3,2 Cor 11:13-15,2 Thess 2:9-11,Matt 24:24 This beast speaks as Satan speaks… with great lies. This beast’s ministry centers on lying to his followers, just as Satan is the Father of lies.  Satan uses the false religions of this world (their teachings and miracles) to lie, mislead and deceive the world.  In doing so, he is stealing away the worship that Christ alone deserves.

 

(Please notice that, just as the previous beast, this beast finds its origins in Daniel 7)

 

The first beast which represented the POLITICAL powers of the world is described as a horrifying beast.  This refers to the kingdoms of the world’s great military might, and powerful vicious leaders.

In comparison, the second beast, the RELIGIOUS powers of the world, is pictured as a gentle, kind lamb-like beast. It deceitfully shows itself to be harmless, but in reality, is incredibly harmful, misleading others to an eternity in the Lake of Fire.

 

(12)  And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

This beast possesses the same (power) authority as the first beast…

  1. The political powers of the world were said to possess the authority to speak blasphemies against the Lord… so too, the false religions of this world.
  2. The political powers were said to have the authority to rule over every area of the world. Likewise, the false religions of the world appear in every nation, language and families found in this world.

The state religions of the world have been used throughout time to lead men to submission to the political powers of this world.  Throughout the history of the world, false religions have caused many wars to take place between political powers.  In an attempt to force men to worship a specified religion, the political powers of the world have forcibly dominated nations and opposing religious groups alike.  In every case, the end result was forced worship and submission to the invading political government and its state religion.

(Perhaps the greatest example of the political powers and religious powers of the world working in harmony against the cause of Christ can be seen at the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Christ.  In that case, we have the Jewish religious leaders worked in harmony with the Gentile Roman government to put Christ to death. (John 18:1-40 etc)) 

 

(13)  And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,  (14)  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast;

One of the greatest tools used by false religions to mislead mankind are “great wonders”, many various unexplainable feats.  These great wonders will be a consistent tool used by false religions until their ultimate defeat at the coming of Christ to the earth.

2Th 2:8-10 KJV – “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” 

 

The one “marvel” used to represent all the wonders that the false religions performed is that of calling fire down from heaven.  Throughout the OT times and also during the early NT times fire falling from heaven was consistently used as a sign of the true worship of Jehovah:

  1. 2 Kings 1:10-14 – Elijah 2.  Lev 10:2 – Jehovah               3.  Nums 11:1 – Jehovah
  2. Num 16:35 – Jehovah 5.  Judges 6:21 – Jehovah           6.  1 King 18:38 – Jehovah
  3. Exo 9:13-on – Jehovah 8.  Acts 2:7 – Local Church

(This helps us to understand that all the miracles that are performed by the false religions are counterfeits of the true miracles of God.  They are used to deceitfully misled men into believing the false religion is approved and authorized by God.)

 

These false wonders are done in the eyes of men in an effort to mislead them, but also done in the sight of the beast being approved, authorized, and used by the political powers of the world.

Keep in mind, despite of all these “great wonders”, they are still false religions that will face the judgment of God in the future…

Mat 7:22-23 KJV – “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?   And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

 

 

saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

Following the deception of their followers, the false religions then instruct them to create idols of false worship and present them to the powers that be.  This is a very important point that should not be overlooked:

  1. It proves they are now accepting of false worship – The creation of idols and images are always associated with false worship and relying on the works of man to please God. Images were very commonly employed in false religious worship (Ex 20:4, 2 Kings 3:2, Isa 40:19, Dan 3, Jud 17:3, Isa 40:19, Jer 10: 14 etc etc)  This is blasphemy at its worst.
  1. It proves they have readily accepted humanism (man is the supreme authority) as the ultimate truth – God is the only One who is capable of creating an image of Himself. He did that for us when He created man (Gen 1:26-27).  To create any other supposed image of God is an act of blatant humanism.  It is believing that man, with the works of his own hands, can create an image of Almighty God; or, it is saying that mankind has the ability to create their own gods and to worship it as they see fit.  In either case, it is false worship and humanism at its worst.

 

Note: This is saying that their acts of idolatry and humanism were created to be presented to the beast of the sea.  This was to prove that the beast of the earth has accomplished its task…

It is saying to the political powers, I have successfully misled your citizens to no longer worship the true God.  They are now worshipping their own creation.  They now are reliant upon themselves and their own abilities to develop and worship as they please.  Now they are yours for the taking.  Their knowledge of God and possibility of coming to the worship of the true God is no longer standing in your way.  You can now be the ultimate authority in their life to do as you please.

 

(15)  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Please remember:

  1. The image of the beast represents the ACTS of false worship of mankind and the humanistic PRACTICES followed by mankind.
  2. The giving of life to the image is speaking of continued deceit being used to mislead those watching to partake of this false worship and humanism.

Keeping this in mind, “giving life unto the image” is speaking of Satan’s continuing attempts to make false worship and humanism appealing to mankind.  Basically, it is speaking of the continuous changing of false worship and humanism so that it appeals to the masses:

  1. One example of this is the ancient religions of the far-east now being repackaged as “the New Age” religions. Nothing in the New Age movement is new, it is simply presented in a new way to lost mankind.
  2. Another example would be repackaging of humanism as “the power of positive thinking” and “situational ethics” etc etc.
  3. Another example would be the practices and festivals of heathen worship incorporated into the “holy days” of the Catholic Church.

 

When our text says “that the image of the beast should both speak”, it is describing two basic principles…

  1. These acts of false worship, gradually, over time have gained a voice of their own, becoming a source of enlistment to these false religions. Many acts of false worship can be used to entice others to join the false religions from which they originate.  It no longer matters what the doctrinal stand of a false religion might be, now simply seeing their practices and wonders, many people ignorantly choose to follow them. There are many lost who believe that the acts of worship (many times the wonders that are performed) prove that a false religion is of God.  Based upon this, they will participate in this false worship without ever comparing their teachings with God’s Word.
  1. Also, these acts of worship speak for themselves by becoming “proofs” of a person’s participation in a given religion. Judgment is now made based upon their participation in these acts of worship… “Do you observe the holy days?”  “Do you speak in tongues?”  “Do you speak to the dead?” etc etc.  All of this is done in an effort to judge true from false worshippers and is used by Satan to bring persecution upon those who do not participate in the false and humanistic worship that he strives to promote.

It is in these two senses that the acts of worship now speak as clearly as the false religions that they represent. The existence of the “experience” (or act of worship) attracts and justifies the participants of that religion.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

When we look at the “ministry” of the false religions of the world, we can clearly see their results worked among men.  They seal a man’s spiritual death, leading them down the path of destruction through deceit.

In comparison, our Lord describes Himself as “The way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).   What a blessing it is to know the Lord that we serve is the way that gives us access to His Heavenly Father.    He supplies to us the absolute truth of the very Word of God.  He is the One that is the source of eternal life to those who trust in Him.

Joh 14:5-7 KJV

“Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.   If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”

 

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

When we see the deceitful workings of the false religions of the world, and the power behind those religions (Satan), we come to understand their great danger to mankind.   May we all come away from this teaching with two determined attitudes.

First of all, may we all learn to diligently guard ourselves against doctrinal impurity and participation in the ungodly practices of these false religions.

Secondly, may we also learn to appreciate our Lord, “the way, the truth and the life”, who has so graciously delivered from error, supplied to us the truths of His Word, and continues to lead us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  What a wonderful Lord we serve and how much He deserves our entire commitment to Him and His will for our lives.

 

Homepage:             http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog:               http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog:              http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email Contact:          settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “the patience and the faith of the saints.”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 13:10 KJV

(10)  He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

 

 

The Lord gives to us the promise of divine retribution for wrongdoers.  In this case, the wrongdoers are the political powers of this world.  The wrongdoing is their abuse of the people of God.

The Lord promises that any wrongdoing performed by those in authority will come back upon their head…  “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.”

The Lord goes a step further explaining that this principle is a motivating force behind the saints continued obedience in the face of such persecution.  It is one of the sources of “the patience and the faith of the saints”.

 

PATIENCE, based upon FAITH, that the final punishment of the wicked is only a matter of time.  It is a certainty, promised by a God who is ALWAYS faithful.

It is the saints trusting the Lord with His promises, and then putting that trust in practice by continuing to be faithful to Him in the midst of the persecution…

Heb 10:23-24 KJV – “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:”

 

May we all trust the Lord and patiently serve Him no matter what Satan may bring our way.  May we always know that He is faithful and, therefore, any abuse we face will be avenged, and any opposition put before us will ultimately fail.

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-45X

Is Your Name Written There?

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 13:8 KJV

(8)  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-46d

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 13:8 KJV

(8)  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

 

 

As the beast from the sea (the political powers of the world) continues to speak words of blasphemy against the Lord, those dwelling on the earth will worship the beast for its great power, wealth, fame and authority.

Those dwelling on the earth at the Lord’s second coming are described as those ”whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”….

 

“The Book of Life”
The book of life of the Lamb contains the names of those who are sovereignly chosen to be the recipients of spiritual life and salvation from their sins by God.

 

“of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”
Along with choosing whom He would save, our God also chose how He would bring about their salvation.  In His eternal plan, God chose to send His son, Jesus, to the cross to gain the salvation of those He had chosen.  This eternal plan was set in place by God prior to the creation of the world.

 

For an individual to NOT have his name written in this book, is to say that they are an unsaved individual, remaining in a spiritually dead condition, and allowed to remain on the path they have chosen for themselves.  It is a path that leads to their eternal destruction.

Folks, the contents of the book of life, along with the 66 books of the Bible, play a very important part in the final judgment of lost mankind…

Rev 20:11-15 KJV

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

(The absence of their names written in this book will result in their sentencing to the Lake of Fire for an eternity.  Their works will be judged according to the commandments found in the 66 books of the Bible.  This will result in a determination of the severity of their judgment throughout eternity.)

 

For those of us who are saved, may we praise and honor our Lord unceasingly for choosing us to salvation, giving His Son to die on our behalf and intervening in our lives and bringing us to Him.

For those who are not saved, may you see the great need of your life, to come before the Lord humbly, by faith, turning from your sin, realizing that Christ is your only hope of receiving spiritual life, forgiveness of sins and a wonderful eternity with Him.

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-45X

Are We Prepared To Face The Three Areas Of Satanic Blasphemy In The World?

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 13:6 KJV – And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-469

“What Is Your Life?”

SIH STSTA ICON(SIH Ministries 5th Anniversary)

 Today is the 5th anniversary of Settled In Heaven Ministries.  Tomorrow, SIH will begin its 6th year of service to Christ, ministering Him to others.  Looking back over the past 5 years, I can see the grace of God being shown to the ministry every step of the way.

The desire of my heart is to praise and honor my Lord Jesus Christ for the many gracious blessings He has shown to my family, SIH, and myself, throughout the years.  Truly without Christ, SIH would not, and could not, bring praise to Christ in any way.

Anything that has been accomplished through the ministry of SIH is entirely of His grace, for which He deserves all the glory.  I am pointing out this anniversary to simply declare how good and wonderful the Lord has been to me, my wonderful wife and the ministry here.  I am blessed being imagination.

Now that a milestone in time has been reached, my tendency is to begin looking ahead and planning new outreach ministries for SIH.  Planning for the future and preparing for the times ahead, in and of itself, can be a very wise course of action for us all.  However, the act of planning ahead can also lead to pitfalls and shipwreck in our service to Him.

In this lesson I would like to remind myself, and perhaps you as well, of the importance of relying upon the leadership and the gracious intervention of Christ in our lives to enable us to   face, and successfully plan for, the times which lie ahead…

 

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Jas 4:13-17 KJV –

Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

 

THE STUDY:

Jas 4:13-17 KJV

 

Go to now,

First, James calls his listeners to “take action” on what he is about to say.  He is telling them to “Go do as I say!”

Why does James do this?  It is because he knows how important this issue is for our lives.  Making future plans without the consideration of the Lord, our need of Him, and His desires for our lives, will cause many, many Christians to fall by the wayside and become shipwrecked in our service to Him.  This is why James emphasizes the need to take action on this subject.

 

ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

James now identifies to whom he is speaking.  He is speaking to Christians who are making future plans for their lives in the following areas:

1.  “we will go into such a city” – the places they will enter into, the areas their lives will touch
(where they would live, work, worship and minister for Christ, vacation etc )
2.  “we will continue there a year” – the time frame of their actions and accomplishments
(when and how long they would do a specific act)
3.  “we will buy and sell and get gain” – the activities of their lives
(ministry for Christ, vocation, marriage, children, education, shopping, house work, etc)
As we look at this list, we can see that this basic list covers almost every aspect of our lives.

 

 

These Christians were trying to plan ahead and be prepared for the future, however, they had forgotten one the most important aspect of their plans… the sovereignty and will of God….

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.

Why is planning for the future a vain pursuit when the Lord is left out of the plans?  The Lord alone knows what tomorrow will bring for us.  All the planning in the world can be undone in one fleeting instant when an unplanned event enters into our lives.  A car accident, sickness, death, loss of employment, natural disaster or other tragedy can quickly unravel all of our plans for the future.

How foolish it is for us to plan for the future without recognizing the Lord is in control of our future.

 

For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

James, now directs our attention to one example of an area of life that is under the Lord’s control… the length of our lives.  Stop and think about it.  Out life is just like a vapor that appears and then very quickly vanishes away, many times without any prior notice.

How can anyone be so prideful as to make plans for the future when they cannot know for certain that they will even be alive tomorrow?   This is the point that James is making for us all.

 

For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

However, we must include the Lord’s will into our plans, and submit to Him as the Ultimate Controller of the events of our lives (past, present, and future).   When we make our future plans we make them with an attitude that recognizes that our plans can change at any moment based upon the Lord’s workings in our lives.

So, it is just as James tells us… “If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that“

 

 

But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

Instead of planning their futures by possessing humble spirits of reliance upon the Lord in the midst of the planning process, these Christians were making plans with an attitude of self-importance.  They were thinking their plans will most certainly take place, because they are in control of the future events of their lives, or wise enough to think of every possible event that would take place in the days to come.

This was a lack of faith, clearly boasting of pride, self-importance, and superiority.  In other words, it was attitude that was wicked in the eyes of God, basically placing their selves in God’s place and becoming guilty of idolatry.  How can this be idolatry?  They became their own idols as they attributed to themselves abilities that only belonged to their God.

 

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

These Christians had now been taught the truth and given a grave responsibility… make all their future plans humbly with attention given to the sovereignty of God and His future will for their lives.

Prior to this, being ignorant of their sin, they were not convicted by their conscience nor the Holy Spirit.   Although they were committing sin it was being done in ignorance with no conviction or discipline being handed down by the Lord.

But now, they were now aware of the evil attitude in their lives.  To them, their attitudes were now had become sinful. In other words…

to him (the Christian with sinful attitudes) it (the prideful attitude) is (now recognized as) sin.

 

“him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not”…

They had been warned. If they chose to ignore this warning, and continue on this path, they would now be left to the work of their conscience and the Holy Spirit’s conviction.

They would now become increasingly aware of their sinful attitudes and bear a growing burden for their willful rebellion against God.  They could expect their guilt to only intensify and God’s chastening hand to be active upon them.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION/SUMMARY:

Folks, may we all make the Lord the center of all our future plans.  He is the Only One who knows what tomorrow holds.  He is the Only One that is control of every situation that comes our way.  Understanding this, how can we begin to ignore Him and keep Him out of our plans?

Pro 3:5-8 KJV

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.”

 

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 

I would just like to thank all of you who have so faithfully taken part in the ministries here at SIH…. Thanks to the followers, commenters, likers, visitors, readers, rebloggers and social site sharers.  Believe me, you all have been a great human encouragement as we have sought to faithfully post on a daily basis.

Also, please be in prayer for the ministries here at SIH.  By God’s grace, over the years we have tried to be constantly adding to our ministries in an attempt to reach the most number of people with His Word.

 

To date, in addition to our internet homepage ( http://www.settledinheaven.org/ ), Settled In Heaven can be found on the following websites:

WordPress (https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/ )

YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/SettledInHeaven )

 

Also, you can follow SIH on the following social sites:

FaceBook (https://www.facebook.com/settledinheaven )

Google+ (https://plus.google.com/109554571051856737762/ )

Twitter (https://twitter.com/settledinheaven )

Tumblr (http://settledinheaven.tumblr.com/ )

LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/robbarkman/47/819/4a4 )

Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/settledinheaven/ )

GodInterest (http://godinterest.com/profile/136480 )

 

Lord willing, within the next year, SIH will be greatly expanding our ministries on:

GodTube (http://www.godtube.com/settledinheaven/ )

LiveJournal (http://settledinheaven.livejournal.com/ )

 

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.”

SIH TOTT ICON

 

Rev 13:6 KJV – And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

 

 

Here, John explains to us three areas that the political powers of this world speak ill against our Lord… His person, His worship place, and His people.

 

Satan, knows what he is doing.  When he uses the powers of this world to blaspheme God in these three areas, he does it for a purpose….

Satan’s main goal was to receive the glory and honor, and the position and abilities that are reserved for our Lord alone.  We have seen in previous devotionals, even following his defeat on the cross, he continues to work towards becoming “like God”.   When he leads the powers of this world to speak blasphemies, it is his attempt to “steal away” the praise that is due to our Lord.  This is why he desires the world’s powers to speak against the Lord, His place of worship and His people.

 

  1. Why does Satan desire God’s person to be blasphemed?

When others speak against the person of the Lord, they directly are taking away from the praise He deserves by convincing others our Lord is not worthy of our praise.  The evil speech takes from the Lord’s greatness and honor placing Him on a lower level than He deserves.

 

  1. Why does Satan desire God’s place of worship to be blasphemed?

When God is worshipped in a Scriptural way, His overwhelming greatness is clearly seen and His people unite themselves in the praise of that greatness.   When Satan leads others to speak against His place of worship, they are taking away from the importance and attractiveness of His worship.  This, in turn, aids in minimizing both the revelation of His greatness and the resulting worship and honor to a minimum.

 

  1. Why does Satan desire God’s people to be blasphemed?

God’s people are to be His reflection on earth.  When lost mankind look at His people, they are to see Christ in them.  When blasphemous speech causes others to think less of God’s people, it results in others thinking less of our Lord.  The reflection of Him is dirtied and His true glory is hidden from view.

 

May we all be on guard against the workings of Satan in our lives.  May we oppose his workings by frequently going to the Word of God to see His greatness;  regularly attending His place of worship to praise and honor Him; and live lives unspotted by the world to reveal His greatness to others.

1Pe 4:7 KJV – “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.”

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-45X

Can Christians Blaspheme The Lord?

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 13:6 KJV  –  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

 

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-464

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 13:6 KJV

(6)  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

 

 

John sees the wild and dangerous beast from the sea (political powers of the world) speaking words of blasphemy against the Lord.   We have all heard of “blaspheming” the Lord, but what does that word really mean?

The words “blasphemy” and “blaspheme” in this verse comes from a Greek word that has several related definitions: 1.  “to speak ill of”; 2.  “to make a villain of”;   3.  “to defame”;   4.  “to be irreverent”;    5.  “to bitterly complain”

By looking at all these definitions, in our context, we can see that blasphemy involves…   “Taking away from the praise and honor that God deserves by speaking against Him”.

(In other words, blasphemous speech is irreverent speech that includes complaining about Him, fault-finding against Him, or defaming His person, character or works.)

 

Folks, let’s be honest… Normally, as Christians, we think that blasphemy is a sin that is reserved for those who do not have a relationship with the Lord.  We think that only those who are spiritually dead, and yet under the bondage of sin, are capable of such a heinous sin.

But if we stop and think about the definition of blasphemy, we can quickly come to the conclusion that it is a sin not reserved for the lost, but can be committed by God’s people as well.   Because we still possess a fallen sin nature within us, we are susceptible to taking honor away from our Lord.

How many times have we blasphemed our Lord in our thoughts, actions, or words?  Three examples of this would be the sins of impatience, doubting, and acceptance of sin.

 

Stop and think about it, when we become impatient with His workings in our lives, we are declaring to others that our Lord is slow to act, uncaring of those in need, or totally uninvolved in the lives of His people.  To give this impression to others is to blaspheme our Lord.

How about doubting the motives and methods of His workings?  By this we are telling others our Lord is not reliable, perhaps He is not faithful to His promises, or He makes mistakes in His workings among us.  Once again, this is clearly blasphemy.

The last sin we mentioned is that of acceptance of sin.   When we do not take a stand against sin in our lives and the lives of those around us, we are basically saying our Lord does not absolutely hate sin, therefore He is not perfectly holy, He has no perfect standard by which we are to live, nor is He perfectly just in His acts of discipline or judgment.  One more time… this is blasphemy.

 

Folks, we have just looked at three of MANY, MANY sins that when allowed in our lives, affects what others think about our Lord.  Anytime our actions or words make others think less of our Lord, or question His greatness, we are committing blasphemy against Him.  Also, when we allow our minds to go down paths that will lead us to think less of the Lord, we are blaspheming God to ourselves.

May we all be more conscious of the sin of blasphemy, and always ask ourselves these two questions…

“How will this action, speech or thought affects our own, or others, attitude about our Lord?…
Will any of us think more highly of Him, or will any of us begin to question His greatness and works among us?”

 

Col 3:8 KJV –  “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-45X

Christ Has Already Defeated The Powers Of This Sinful World!

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 13:3 KJV – And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after this wild, dangerous beast.

 

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-460

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “it were wounded to death”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 13:3 KJV

(3)  And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after this wild, dangerous beast.

 

 

In this section of Revelation, John is describing the “beast from the sea” which symbolizes the political kingdoms (governments) of this world throughout history.  In the context of John’s vision, he sees Satan using these governments to oppose the Lord and His people.

One of the seven heads of this beast, John sees a “deadly wound”.   The beast received this fatal wound at the cross of Christ…

Col 2:14-15 KJV – “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;  And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

 

Although the beast’s doom is sealed at the cross (and in that sense he was defeated then), he continues to be active until the second coming…

Eph 6:11-12 KJV – “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

 

It will be at the second coming of Christ that the beast will meet his ultimate end…. physical defeat and consignment to the Lake of Fire for an eternity…

Rev 19:11-21 KJV – “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”

 

May we all stand firmly in the faith, even in the face of persecution and oppression from the political powers of this world, knowing that Christ has already defeated them at Calvary.  No matter what it may look like now, we know that these powers are headed for downfall and their ultimate retribution, an eternity in the Lake of Fire.

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-45X

 

 

 

Do We Have The Marks Of God’s People In Our Lives?

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 12:17 KJV

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-45P

Revelation 13:1-10 “The Beast From The Sea”

SIH STSTA ICON

THE TEXT:

Rev 13:1-10 KJV

(1)  And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
(2)  And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
(3)  And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
(4)  And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
(5)  And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
(6)  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
(7)  And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
(8)  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
(9)  If any man have an ear, let him hear.
(10)  He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

THE INTRODUCTION:

In chapter 12, we saw a defeated Satan’s continuing opposition against the Lord and His people.  Throughout the ages, Satan has used the political kingdoms of this fallen world as tools in an attempt to abuse, persecute and even martyr the people of God.

In the beginning portion of chapter 13, we will learn more about the POLITICAL kingdoms of this world as they afflict the people of God.  Then, in the following portions of chapter 13, we will be introduced to another tool that is used by Satan to oppress God’s people… the RELIGIOUS kingdoms of this world.  Finally, we will see the “mark” (major characteristic) of those who join the beast in its stand against the people of God.

  1. The Beast of the Sea – The Political Kingdoms of This World (13:1-10)
  2. The Beast of the Earth – The False Religious Kingdoms of This World (13:11-15)
  3. The Mark of the Beast – The Number of Humanism (13:16-18)

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Please note:  the following verses describe the “beast from the sea”.  This part of John’s vision is taken from Daniel 7:1-12

 

Rev 13:1-10 KJV

(1)  And I stood upon the sand of the sea,

John, as he stands on the seashore looks out at the sea.

 

and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.    (2)  And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

As John looks out over the sea, he sees a “beast” rise up out of the sea.  The word translated “beast” means a “wild, dangerous creature”.

This descriptions of this wild dangerous beast goes hand in hand with the prophecy found in Daniel 7:1-12:

Description Rev. Ref Daniel Ref Symbolism Other References Interpretation
Out of Sea Rev 13:1 Dan 7:2-3 Fallen Humanity Isa 57:20, Jer 6:23, Rev 17:15 This beast comes out of the ever-changing masses of fallen humanity
Has Seven Heads Rev 13:1 N/A Seven World Political Empires (1) Rev 17:9-11 This beast is symbolic of the seven world emires that have opposed the cause of Christ throughout the centuries.
Has Ten Horns w Crowns (on last head) Rev 13:1 Dan 7:7-8 The Many Ruling Countries Following the Roman Empire (2) Rev 17:9-12 This beast includes the many governments of the world that have taken positions of power since the fall of Rome.  However, in each of these cases, they have never been able to dominate the known world as did the previous World Empires.  Therefore they are looked upon as one attempt by Satan, using many combined nations, to effectively retain rule over all the world.
The Name of Blasphemy Rev 13:1 N/A Each is Given the Title “Blasphemy” Rev 13:3-7 Each world kingdom follows its leader Satan, in opposing the people of God and blaspheming His name.
Body Like A Leopard Rev 13:2 Dan 7:6 Leopard very swift, powerful beast (3) Greek Empire very powerful, quickly overtook its enemies and spread throughout known world
Feet Like A Bear Rev 13:2 Dan 7:5 Bear one side higher then other (3) Medo/Persia empire… two sides represent two nations working in unity as one empire.
Mouth Like A Lion Rev 13:2 Dan 7:4 Lion highly glorified,  honored, powerful (3) Babylon empire… with Nebuchadnezzar glorified as God, very wealthy empire
Strength from Satan Rev 13:2 N/A Military Might and Wealth 2 Cor 4:4 All the different manifestations of Satan’s kingdoms were empowered by Satan himself.
Exalted Position From Satan Rev 13:2 N/A Military Conquests, New Areas Of Rule 2 Cor 4:4 All the different manifestations of Satan’s kingdoms were given victories and conquests through Satanic intervention.
Authority From Satan Rev 13:2 N/A Rulership, Exalted Position 2 Cor 4:4 All the different manifestations of Satan’s kingdoms received ruling power and authority from Satan himself.

Notes to above chart:

(1) Seven world political empires throughout history: 1. Egypt, 2. Assyria, 3. Babylon, 4. Medo/Persia, 5. Greece, 6. Rome, 7. Diverse Kingdoms Appearing after the Roman Empire.
(2) A Sampling of the many ruling countries that came after the Roman empire: France, Germany, USA, Britain, Japan, China, Russia etc etc.
(3) All three animals, the Leopard, Bear, and Lion are mentioned as judgments from God upon men that do not recognize nor appreciate His mercies and blessings. (Hosea 13:5-8)

When put all together, we can see the kingdoms of this world, under Satan’s power and control, make up a very powerful, terrible “machine” that will seeks to totally wipe out the Lord and His people.  We see this take place throughout history where the nations of the world persecute God’s people, reject His Word, and speak against the very Lord that has blessed them and allowed them to exist.

Paul and John speak of many of the leaders of these governments and the spirit that motivates them as “the spirit of antichrist”.  In other words, they possess a desire to both oppose and replace Christ by receiving the worship that is due to Him.  This attitude can be seen throughout history in the lives of the Pharoahs of Egypt, the Roman Emperors, Nebuchadnezzar, and many many others including more recent leaders such as Hitler, Stalin, Kim Jong-il, etc etc. 

These leaders use the power of their political kingdom to further their desires for self-exaltation among the people of the world….

1Jn 4:3-4 KJV
“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 

2Th 2:3-5 KJV
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?”

Please note that another type of the “antichrists” of this world are the false religious leaders who work in harmony with the political powers of the world to wreak havoc among the people of God.  These false religions and their leaders will be looked at in great detail in the next section of chapter 13…

 

1Jn 2:18-22 KJV
“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.”

  

(3)  And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.  

John now sees one of the heads that received a deadly wound.  This wound that would eventually result in the death of this beast was Christ’s death on the cross (Col 2:14-15).  The head that received this wound was the sixth head, the Roman empire, the kingdom in existence at the time of the crucifixion.

Although the wound was deadly (would eventually cause the death of the political powers of the world).  This eventual death would be made plain for all to see at the second coming of Christ (Rev 19:17-21).   However, in between the crucifixion and the second coming we have the beast not outwardly affected by this wound.  In that sense, he was “healed” of the wound he had received.  To this day, the great power and wealth of the world kingdoms is coveted by the fallen world, and will only be shown for what they truly are when they are defeated by Christ at His second coming.

 

(4)  And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

In this fallen, humanistic world that is ruled by selfish lusts (1 Pet 2:11) enflamed by the enticements of Satan, we see a willingness to sacrifice all to pursue worldly power, riches and fame.   In doing so, they place their God, families and morals behind to receive this temporal, unsatisfying offerings of the world.

This is the root cause of the lost world’s submission and worship to the kingdoms of this world and their leader, Satan.

(5)  And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.   (6)  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

The kingdoms of this world receive a mouth given to them by Satan.  It is with this mouth that the kingdoms can speak impressive, tremendous things which speak harmful things against Jehovah God.  Remember, this is the great work of the worldly kingdoms to mislead men and force men to join in the blasphemy of God Himself.

This is why “blasphemy” was written upon each and every one of its heads (world empires that make up all the political kingdoms throughout time Rev 13:1).  His role of Blasphemy would continue throughout all the time of opposition and abuse to God’s people.  This time period is described as “42 months”, “a time times and half a time”, and “1260 days”

The kingdoms of this world speak out against:

  1. his name – Who God is and what He has done for us.
  2. his tabernacle – The worship and meeting place of God on earth with man (tabernacle, temple, local church)
  3. them that dwell in heaven – God’s people, both alive and dead, who are citizens of heaven

All three of these are misrepresented, opposed, and spoken against by the governments of this world (Acts 17:32).

 

(7)  And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them:

The governments were not only given words but the ability to actively work in a blasphemous way against the Lord.  They were empowered by Satan, under the Lord’s allowance, to actively war against the people of God.  This would include judging, imprisoning, and even martyring them.

As the governments abuse the people of God, they may be physically overcoming them, but in actuality are spiritually bringing defeat upon themselves.

and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.  

These governments are given the authority to rule over all men.  This includes men of every family, language and citizenship.  This will culminate with a merging of all nations as they stand against Christ at His second coming. This will result in the final defeat of all the world’s kingdoms (Rev 19:18-20)

 

(8)  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

All of lost mankind (those who are not written in the Lamb’s book of life), during their lifetime on earth will worship the world’s kingdoms.  All lost mankind follows the doctrine of this, humanistic, world kingdoms.  As a result, they all work for the satisfaction of their fleshly desires and personal gain of worldly wealth, power and fame (Luke 16:8, Psa 17:14, Isa 55:2, Prov 27:20)

Book of life mentioned many times in Revelation:

  1. Rev 3:5 – overcomer’s names, eternally secure ones
  2. Rev 13:8 – no lost men in it, LJC work places men in the book.
  3. Rev 17:8 – names placed in it from foundation of the world
  4. Rev 20:12-15 – at final judgment used to determine destiny of men.
  5. Rev 21:27 – allows entrance into God’s presence in New Jerusalem
  6. Rev 22:19 – “his part” taken from book not “his name”. Other words, anyone who denies God’s Word by changing it is clearly lost and cannot be saved until he accepts God’s Word as the absolute truth without any change.

The Lamb’s book of life is a listing of all whom God has chosen to salvation, all for whom Christ has died, and all who were given the gift of faith in Christ as their Lord and Savior, in other words, it is all those who have received eternal life.

 

(9)  If any man have an ear, let him hear.

A call is now sent out.  Those who have been given spiritual ears to hear these warnings, need to pay close attention to them.  It is very important that we all understand the role of the kingdoms of this world and Satan’s leadership of them.  This should result in the Christian’s need to seek those things which are above, ignoring the treasures these kingdoms have to offer to us.

“By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”  (Heb 11:9-10 KJV)

“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;  Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;”  (Heb 11:24-25 KJV)

 

(10)  He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.

This is the basic principle of divine retribution.  This is a Biblical principle that says that a just punishment for a certain sin is that sin returned upon the sinner (Rev 11:5, Gen 9:6, Isa 33:1, Jer 15:2, Jer 43:11, Matt 26:52)  This is what the kingdoms of this world have awaiting them.  Their abuse of God’s people will be returned upon their heads at His second coming. (Rev 19:11-21)

Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

This belief that the Lord will return the sins of the kingdoms back upon them is a source of the great patience and faith that is shown by believers who have been abused, tormented, afflicted and martyred by them.

“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.  For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.”  (Heb 10:36-37 KJV)

CHRIST REVEALED:

As we saw the beast (kingdoms of this world) stand in opposition to Christ and His people, our Lord’s victory over this beast comes into full view.  Stop and think about it, if it were not for Christ’s victory over the beast, this terrible, ferocious beast would have total dominance over us and bring us to utter defeat.  But, based upon His victory won on the cross, He promises to us victory over the beast as well….

Joh 16:33 KJV – “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
1Jn 4:4 KJV – “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

May we all take the time to honor and praise our Lord for His work on the cross as He overcame Satan and the powers of this world, so that we might be victorious in Him.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Mistreatment, persecution and opposition are to be expected as we live our lives in this fallen world.  This is because of our association with Christ.    But, although we face opposition, it is very important for us to realize that the victory has already been won by our Lord on the cross.   Although it may seem as if the powers of darkness are gaining the victory, by faith we understand that we have the ultimate victory in Christ.

May we all serve Him with renewed vigor knowing that the war has been won, and we are serving in the winning army of Christ.

Rev 19:11-21 KJV
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. “

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

Homepage:             http://www.settledinheaven.org
Text Blog:               http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com
Video Blog:              http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven
Email Contact:          settledinheaven@gmail.com

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 12:17 KJV

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

So how can we recognize genuine believers in Christ?  This text helps us to answer this very significant question.  But before we answer this question, we need to answer another equally important one.   Why is it important that we can recognize true believers in Christ?  2 Corinthians 6:14 helps us with this question…

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”

 

In this passage we find that the Lord instructs His people to avoid entering into close relationships with those who are lost.  Marriage/dating relationships, business partners, friendships, and other types of interpersonal relationships are included in this passage.

How can we avoid making unscriptural relationships, if we do not know how to come to a reasonable judgment about another person’s spiritual condition?   That’s where our devotional passage comes in.

In this passage we find God’s people are said to “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”   These are two outstanding indicators of a person with a genuine relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let’s take  quick look at each of these indicators…

 

  1. “keep the commandments of God” – in this verse the word “keep” comes from a word that means “to guard and maintain”. It describes guard over something considered very valuable and giving it continued care and maintenance.

In context, this is teaching us that a true believer will recognize the great value of his Lord’s desires for his life.  He will keep them constantly in the forefront of his mind and seeks to apply these principles consistently to every area of his life.

This will result in him living a life that is separated to his Lord, motivated by love and appreciation, not necessity and legality.

 

  1. “have the testimony of Jesus Christ” – Here, the word for “testimony” comes from the word “martyr”. It describes a person who recognizes his responsibility and willingly gives record of his personal experiences, even to the point of death.

In this case, the person understands the great importance of telling others about his personal experience with Christ.  He is willing to do so, even at the risk of great physical loss.  He understands that there is a lost world around him whose only hope is Christ and Him crucified.

This results in a person who, although risking rejection, mockery, abuse or even death, is still willing to tell others about all that His Lord has done for him motivated out of love, appreciation and the knowledge of the great need of fallen mankind.

 

These are two of the greatest marks of a person who has experienced the love of Christ and is the recipient of His saving mercies.

 

Folks, before we enter into any relationship greater than a simple acquaintance, we need to stop and think of our Lord’s guidelines for choosing those who are close to us.   We then need to enter into close relationships with only those who can be described as those “which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ”

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-45p

 

 

The Lost Are Blinded To The Truth, But Readily Accept False Teachings…

SIHs HALTAL ICON RevChristRev 12:16 KJV – “And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.”

 

 

 

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-45I

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ: “the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood”

SIH TOTT ICONRev 12:16 KJV – “And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.”

 

 

 

Previously, we saw that Satan sends a flood of false teaching into the world in an effort to hinder the work of God’s people on earth.   Now we see that “the earth” (lost mankind) swallows the false teaching of Satan, only bringing harm to themselves.

Why does this take place?  Why does the lost world so readily accept false teachings?  It is because, due to their fallen condition, they are blinded to the truths of God…

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:   In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”  (2Co 4:3-4 KJV)

 

 

If we really come to understand this truth it will change the way that we talk to the lost as we share the gospel message:

 

  1. We will no longer attempt to persuade them with psychological and manipulative efforts to accept the truth. Instead, we will find ourselves, sincerely, using the truths of God to persuade them to come to Him… 

“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.”    (2Co 5:11 KJV)

 

  1. We will understand that apart from God’s intervening grace, they will never come to the truth of God. This will cause us to pray for them in greater ways, and be very patient and kind to them, instead of becoming irritated, frustrated, and “give up on them” seeing no “results” to our evangelization.

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth”  (2Ti 2:24-25 KJV)

 

 

May we always remember these two important truths as we work with those who are lost:

We are to recognize that the lost are blinded to these truths and cannot come to Christ apart from His gracious intervention, because of this, they will normally oppose our ministry to them;    Secondly, we are to always hold fast to the truth, without compromise, knowing this is their only hope of coming to a saving knowledge of Christ…

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them”   (2Ti 3:12-14 KJV)

 

For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation:

http://wp.me/pU88A-45p

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,850 other followers