Revelation Week 10 – The Beasts from the Sea and Land

There are a lot of things people see paralleled or referenced in these beasts

  • Leviathan and Behemoth – beast of the sea and land that were part of the chaos before the creation of the world that would have to be destroyed by the Messiah at the end of the world
  • Roman empire – the empire was introduced to most people via merchant ships/appealed to people through its economic power and then consumed them through the army
  • Emperor and those who enforce emperor worship – definitely at play
    • Talking statues – real thing they did, literally a wizard of oz kind of scenario
    • Wide spread persecution hasn’t happened yet, but John sees it coming
      • Smaller pockets of persecution have been successful and every tyrant needs a group to blame and incite hostility towards/needs uniformity in the ranks
      • John foresees a time when political, judicial, and economic pressure is going to be used to try to force the people of God to denounce their faith
        • Is this a description of what was happening in his day or a prediction of something that will happen? Yes
          • The kingdoms of the world will always try to take our loyalty from the kingdom of God and they’ll use what’s available to them to do it
            • “every individual or group that lays claim to our allegiance has within it the potential to become ‘the great beast’ that demands to be worshiped and kills those who refuse”

Number of the beast – mentioned way back when we started that the numerologists see it as a clear reference to Nero. We’ve seen the reference to the mark of God earlier so we’re getting a comparison – people will either bear the emperor’s mark or God’s and you can’t have both

  • Again, just because we can see what beast John was looking at and fearing doesn’t mean we don’t have to worry about our own
    • People have a lot of theories – the big idea is that you can only bear one mark so be on the lookout for the things that want your allegiance above everything else

The dragons and the beasts

  • Dragon – ultimate power behind everything
  • Beast of the sea – savior, slain but still alive
  • Beast of the earth – means of spreading the message of the first beast and ultimately the dragon
  • Parallels to the trinity should be jumping out – all satan can do is imitate and try to deceive. All he can do is get us to put our faith in the wrong thing

Chapter 14

  • Verses 1-5 – while it seems like the dragon and beasts are running wild over the people of God without any restraint that’s not true, the lamb is still there, preparing for the final moment
    • Hadn’t been defiled with women – in the Old Testament one of the qualifications for a holy war was abstinence.
      • This isn’t an army like the world’s army, the lamb isn’t using evil for a good purpose, the servants of God will be obvious
  • 6 – 13 – message that judgement is coming, call for endurance of the saints
  • 14-20 – image of that judgement – what’s fit for harvest is taken in and the rest are destroyed
    • Another of these unpacking moments, most people think that what follows with the bowls of wrath is a description of the process of judgement

Chapter 15

  • 1-5 – as has happened before we get an image of judgement in heaven before we see it on earth, and in heaven no one is questioning it.
    • In the fullness of God’s glory it all makes sense
    • Seven bowls – once again we’re shown that what is happening is limited and planned
      • God isn’t just unleashing a fit of rage, those who put their trust in evil will be destroyed by it

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