Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Puppet and the Masquerade (Revelation 13, Zechariah 11:17, Daniel 7:20-28, Matthew 24:36)

Revelation 13

As I'm working through Revelation this year, I am amazed by the consistency and threads that weave through it.  I've been studying the Bible for many years, but Revelation seems to be the grand finale tying it all together.  Daniel and Zechariah were ancient prophets from the Old Testament before Christ (BC).  Their words fit beautifully with Revelation.  They were inspired by God.  If His word is this consistent, how can we deny the truth in the scriptures?  

1 And the Dragon stood on the shore of the sea. I saw a Beast rising from the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads––on each horn a crown, and each head inscribed with a blasphemous name. 2 The Beast I saw looked like a leopard with bear paws and a lion's mouth. The Dragon turned over its power to it, its throne and great authority.
The devil gave his power to the beast.
17 “Woe to the worthless shepherd, Who leaves the flock! A sword shall be against his arm And against his right eye; His arm shall completely wither, And his right eye shall be totally blinded." (Zechariah 11:17 NKJV)
When they tried to kill it, they only wounded him by putting out his eye and destroying it's arm. 
This is in the book of Daniel. Prophets often saw visions from God.  They warned Israel in times of danger, and encouraged them with good words.  Like us they still messed up at times.
15 “I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit within my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I came near to one of those who stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things:  
To me, it sounds like an angel came and spoke to Daniel. He's describing someone near. It could also be God's Holy Spirit. When I read or write about the Bible I always ask the Holy Spirit to speak to me through His Word.
17 ‘Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth.  18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.
19 “Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet; 20 and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. 21 “I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom." The Ancient of Days is Jesus. He was in the beginning, is, was, and always will be. The description is like it was in Revelation 1:14.
24 The ten horns are ten kings Who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, And shall subdue three kings. 25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. 26 ‘But the court shall be seated, And they shall take away his dominion, To consume and destroy it forever. 27 Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him." (Daniel 7:20-28 NKJV)
3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. 4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him.
This is the same beast from Zechariah 11:16.  This is an age old deception.  Most humans are drawn to those who are hurt, especially women.  We tend to want to heal and nurture.  So the devil will come and show it's wounds and then it will miraculously be healed.  People will think, "We finally have a hero who can lead us and heal our nations!"  They will be excited and dream of wealth, and the end of war.  But war will not end with men.  Only with God.  I am sad because our world is so broken right now; I am afraid this might happen to us.

5 The Beast had a loud mouth, boastful and blasphemous. It could do anything it wanted for forty–two months. 6 It yelled blasphemies against God, blasphemed his Name, blasphemed his Church, especially those already dwelling with God in Heaven. 7 It was permitted to make war on God's holy people and conquer them. It held absolute sway over all tribes and peoples, tongues and races. 8 Everyone on earth whose name was not written from the world's foundation in the slaughtered
Lamb's Book of Life will worship the Beast.
The honeymoon is over and the beast begins to show what it's true intentions are.  He will reign for 3 1/2 years.  It will have complete freedom to do whatever it wants.  The beast will be able to do whatever it wants to those who are not believers.  That doesn't sound good at all...  It says that the beast will blaspheme those with Jesus in Heaven.  But that would be senseless.  It's not coming back to God's kingdom.  God threw him out.

9 Are you listening to this? 10 They've made their bed; now they must lie in it. Anyone marked for prison goes straight to prison; anyone pulling a sword goes down by the sword. Meanwhile, God's holy people passionately and faithfully stand their ground.
When I read verses 9-10 it reminds of when I was a little girl and my Mom would say, "Wait till your Father gets home!!" when she got mad.  Those who terrorize and belong in prison will be put there.  The time for repentance will be ending.  The last call to become a Christian will be sounding.

11 I saw another Beast rising out of the ground. It had two horns like a lamb but sounded like a dragon when it spoke. 12 It was a puppet of the first Beast, made earth and everyone in it worship the first Beast, which had been healed of its deathblow.
Here comes the puppet.  The puppet will make the Antichrist seem highly intelligent and great.  It's purpose is to make people so fed up they will believe anything.  It would be like some of the ads on television.  They are so annoying, I want to go do a computer game just to escape it.  Or read a book.

13 This second Beast worked magical signs, dazzling people by making fire come down from Heaven. 14 It used the magic it got from the Beast to dupe earth dwellers, getting them to make an image of the Beast that received the deathblow and lived. 15 It was able to animate the image of the Beast so that it talked, and then arrange that anyone not worshiping the Beast would be killed. 16 It forced all people, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to have a mark on the right hand or forehead. 17 Without the mark of the name of the Beast or the number of its name, it was impossible to buy or sell anything.
The puppet will do things that appear magical and real.   He may pretend to heal disease and then delight in seeing the healed learn they are sicker than ever.  The beast describes satan in the garden of Eden.  He lured Eve to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge so she could know what God knows.  Satan would have laughed and mocked God when she ate the apple.  The true battle is between God and Satan, we are God's people.  

18 Solve a riddle:  Put your heads together and figure out the meaning of the number of the Beast. It's a human number:  six hundred sixty–six.
(Revelation 13:1-18 Message)

The mark of the beast is, "6 6 6."  This could be any combination ###### ###### ###### or 
literal numbers "6 6 6."  I've heard when stores change bar codes and credit card numbers some people become afraid that it's the coming of the Antichrist.  I think it will all be real clear to those of us who believe.  The Holy Spirit is always looking out for us.  We know a lot from the Bible.  But one thing is VERY clear, 

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only."
(Matthew 24:36 NKJV)

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You so much for Your Word.  I am overwhelmed by how it flows when I sit down and really think about it.  Thank You for our salvation and the assignment you've given us to help others out.  I lift up Ukraine to You.  So many troubles.  I pray You will protect these people and help them rebuild what has been destroyed in their country.  Please bless our country that we will get back on track.  I pray You will step in and disorient the terrorists set on destruction.  Bless the Kurds with strength and courage.
In Jesus Name,

This song is from Ellie Holcomb, The Broken Beautiful (link)

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