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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Rev. 13:1-2

3/30/10 The first part of v. 1 belongs with the last chapter. Some translate it, “And I stood on the sand of the sea,” but many scholars agree that it’s the dragon who stood on the sand of the sea.

John watched as up out of the sea arose a beast with some interesting similarities to the dragon: seven heads, ten horns, blasphemous names, and crowns, though the crowns were on his horns instead of his heads as the dragons’s were. That is because when compared with Daniel’s vision of the beasts with a total of seven heads and ten horns, the dragon ruled during the time when the four powers were ruling. In Daniel’s vision the scene moves from an emphasis on the heads of the four beasts to the horns of the fourth beast. This is when the beast from the sea began its reign. So the focus shifts from the heads to the horns, the crowns shift from the heads to the horns.

These are diadems, royal crowns, not stefanos crowns or wreaths of victory. This power is ruling by force of authority and power. It’s also a religious power for it is claiming equality with God.

This beast is a composite of Daniel’s beasts–looked like a leopard, feet like a bear, mouth like a lion, and horns like the beast. So this new beast from the sea has these powers in its history even though it arises after them.

When this beast comes out of the sea the dragon gives it his power, throne, and great authority–just as the Father gave Jesus his power, throne, and great authority.

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Posted by on April 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Rev. 12:13-17

3/29/10 The dragon saw he had been cast down in a spiritual sense. He was finished as far as God and the knowing universe was concerned. So he in his fury went after God’s people, the Christian church, to take down as many as possible.

But God gives the church an exodus (cf Ex 19:4) and she escaped the wrath of the dragon by being protected by God. This doesn’t mean the woman didn’t suffer. She suffered a great deal, but only as allowed by God for her purification, like during the exodus of Israel.

This wilderness experience was her situation for 1260 years. So since persecution wasn’t working the dragon used other tactics and sent a river of deception (allusion to Gen 3) to swallow up the woman in falsehood and spiritual compromise.

This strategy worked in large degree, but the earth swallowed up the river to protect the woman by providing for her a place to flee to in order to maintain her purity.

So the Christian church was safe and this enraged the dragon all the more, so he goes after the woman’s children, the last-day remnant people of God, identified as those who keep the commandments and have the faith of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy (Rev 19:10). This is the setting of the final crisis to come in Rev 13 and 14.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Rev. 12:7-12

3/28/10 At the cross war waged between the forces of good and evil in a decisive conflict of spiritual war, whatever that looks like. Satan lost again and was completely and utterly conquered. His case against God, as far as all spiritual beings is concerned, was finished. He has been unmasked and shown for the liar and accuser that he really is. Heaven was no longer even an option for him and his angels. Earth was/is his last stand, for a little while.

Then John heard a voice from heaven. Salvation (for the people of earth presumably) and all power and authority and the kingdom of God are firmly established. At this point of the controversy nothing can change that. God has uncontested rule of the entire cosmos. Satan has been undone. His accusations are shown to be fake. He is the accuser of the people of God, a position God never takes.

And God’s people overcome the dragon as Jesus did, via his blood. That means his death actually gives us the strength we need to resist and war against the devil ourselves.

We also overcome by the word of our testimony–sharing what God has done for us actually strengthens us to overcome the devil. The people of God who consistently overcome in this way eventually lose even their fear of death.

So at this point in the great controversy the heavens rejoice, all who live in them, not it, for the conflict is sure to end in victory for God, no more questions in the heavens. But woe to the earth because there are still some difficult things to happen before the end. The devil is here and he is furious knowing that he has lost, knowing he has little time left.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Rev. 12:3-6

3/27/10 After the woman appeared another sign appeared, a great red dragon with seven heads, ten horns, and seven crowns (diadema). For clarification of who this dragon is John points out that it’s the same one who drew away a third of the stars (angels) with him from heaven to earth.

Heads represent kingdoms, and since there are seven of them we recognize that this is a symbolic number meaning completeness or wholeness.

The nations of the world are ruled by this dragon. He is the prince of the fallen world. He has ten horns on those heads and horns also represent kings or kingdoms. Some feel these should be identified in detail while others feel it’s simply a round number representing the minor powers of earth while the heads represent the major powers.

Each of the heads wore a diadem, which is a different word than a stefanos crown, which is a garland or wreath and a sign of victory instead of a sign of rulership. This word diadema is used only here, Rev 13 and Rev 19. It is a crown that is bound around rather than a wreath set atop. It seems to designate a rule of authority rather than an award of victory. In other words the dragon has wrested the kingdom and holds it captive as his own. In Rev 13:1 it’s the same situation.

In Rev 19:12 we see Jesus coming again to reclaim the earth as his own. He is dressed for war and he rules with a rod of iron. So there are definite connotations of force and power and authority that goes along with the symbol of the diadem as opposed to the crown that is earned as a wreath of victory.

The dragon stands before the woman, God’s people in the form of Israel, prepared to destroy Jesus as soon as he was born. She gave birth to the male child who is to rule the nations with a rod of iron.

These words also point us to Rev 19:15, the same passage as where Jesus is wearing many diadems. So we know for sure this male child is Jesus.

Before the dragon could get him he was caught up to God and his throne. Then as in Rev 5 the woman flees into the desert for 1260 years to be cared for in the place prepared by God for her. God was in control and protecting his people during this terrible time.

More happens in John’s vision concerning the dragon, and then the story of the woman picks up again in v. 14.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Rev. 12:1-2

3/26/10 Next John saw a great sign in the heavens. He saw a woman clothed in the sun. In earlier chapters the darkness of the sun was a symbol of the word of God being hidden creating spiritual darkness. So the woman here is clothed in the light of the word of God, which is spiritual light.

She has the moon under her feet. Many commentators see significance of the moon being bright by borrowed light from the sun. Since the sun is the word of God and the word of God is Jesus himself, it follows that the “greater light to rule the day” would overshadow the “lesser light to rule the night.”

In other words, the OT system of laws and types that pointed to the Messiah were glorious in their borrowed light, but in their fulfillment in Jesus the sun arose.

The woman who represent’s God’s people in Israel and later in the Christian church was about to give birth to this “sun of righteousness.” She was in pain of labor, which well describes Israel’s spiritual condition at Jesus’ birth. God’s people needed a Savior.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Rev. 11:15-19

3/25/10 Finally, after the important interlude of Rev 10 and 11 comes the seventh trumpet. Rev 10:7 says that in the days of the seventh trumpet then the mystery of God, the carrying of the gospel to the whole world, will be accomplished. So after this happens then the seventh trumpet sounds and God reclaims the part of his kingdom that has been in rebellion. God will take his rightful place in the rule of earth.

This causes great rage on the part of those in rebellion and led by the dragon and his allies they rush into the final conflict, which shall end the war. It will be time for judgment of the dead, whose fates have been already sealed. It will also be time to decide the rewards of the righteous.

In 1844, when the prophecies of Daniel were unlocked, judgment began and will continue until the very end. The judgment is characterized by the appearance of the ark containing the 10 commandments. This law is the basis of decision concerning the loyal and the disloyal.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Rev 11:11-14

3/24/10 After three and a half years (1793-1797) the breath of life from God filled the two witnesses and they stood on their feet. This is an allusion to Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones in Eze 37. God is able to do the seemingly impossible.

When atheism was declared in France, a dominant world power at the time, it lasted for three and a half years. Religion was made illegal, but was then restored. So the Bible, while not being literally wiped out, was symbolically killed. But God turned that on its head and made the scriptures more popular and available than ever. The corrupt church and civil powers were unable to stop it and watched it “go up in the cloud” so to speak. About that time France fell as a dominant world power. People at the time must have recognized the hand of God in these events.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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