HERO CENTRAL August 7-11 Vacation Bible School

December 19/Revelation 13

Verses 1-5 > Satan never seems to run out of allies. Here we have a beast coming out of the sea. There is always some nation, institution, or person that he can use to spread his evilness. With all of his power he seems unbeatable. Lets just look at the United States of America because this is where we are trying to live for Jesus. At this time of year retailers and advertising and the media could be a beast. Year after year we get bombarded with materialism. Buy, buy, buy is there cry with no acknowledgment of the real meaning of Christmas. It looked like with all the revivals we have had in America > the Great Awakening, Azusa Street ,  and the Jesus movement that we had finally killed the beast but he keeps coming back to life. Christmas has just become a great secular holiday and people don’t seem to be any closer to receiving Jesus. Our vicious beast has been disguised as a Santa! Anybody know about Jesus?

Verses 6-10 > Our colleges and universities could be another beast that seem to always ridicule those trying to live for the Lord. Statistics seem to indicate that they are able to turn huge numbers of students that come from Christian homes away from their belief in the Lord. They don’t need the 3 1/2 years they can do it in 1.

We could live in despair because it seems like century after century things don’t change for the better. But notice these words in verses 5 & 7 > was allowed, was allowed, was given. Satan and his allies are on God’s leash. They can only do what God allows them to do. So take heart and stand strong. Continue to pray and believe that God is in control of all the beasts. Even though they continue to be worshiped one day they will get their due. As verse 10 says, we must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful.

Verses 11-15 > Satan has a beast in the secular realm and not he has one in the religious realm. This beast is the one that continues to say that all roads (religions) lead to the top. And if that doesn’t work to lull people to sleep he raises up groups like ISIS to kill all the infidels > anyone who is not an extreme Muslim. Here even in Christianity we have the beast working to collapse the covenant of marriage between one man and one woman. He is working to neutralize gender. He has influenced some well know Christian leaders to teach ‘universalism’ where everyone will eventually be saved so hell really is no threat. He has subtly convinced some that is it good works + Jesus that gets you saved. Oh that beast is a deceiver!

The beasts they just keep coming > the Salem witch hunts, Ku Klux Klan, racism, Jim Jones, David Koresh, the Uni Bomber, 9-11, school shootings, police shootings, the beast looks undefeatable.

Verses 16-18 > Do we have to look for an actual mark to identify if a person is a follower of the beast? The right hand = actions and the forehead = thinking. Richard Bewes, in the Lamb Wins, “When peoples actions and thinking are controlled by a philosophy alien to Christ you might say that the beast has stamped himself upon their lives.” Followers of the beast will be obvious to all. What about that number 666? Verse 18 says that it is man’s number. Man was created on day 6.

I like Hendriksen’s comment in his More than Conquerors (Tyndale Press): ‘Six, moreover, is not seven and never reaches seven. It always fails to attain to perfection; that is, it never becomes seven. Six means missing the mark, or failure. Seven means perfection or victory. Rejoice, O Church of God! The victory is on your side. The number of the beast is 666, that is, failure upon failure upon failure! It is the number of man, for the beast glories in man; and must fail!
Jeremiah 9:23–24 (NLT) — 23 This is what the Lord says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. 24 But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken!
Be Inspired Hilltop!

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    In this chapter we see the antichrist and the false prophet without their masks on. They will try to lead prople away from God and therefor towards destruction.