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Wait on God! Don't Lose Faith!

Rejoicing through Revelation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Being warned in advance of the devil's diabolical devices, believers of all ages are encouraged to wait on God and keep the faith!

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Introduction:

Illustration - Looking through John’s eyes -
a
In chapter 12 John’s eyes were focused on the sky. Things were happening in the atmosphere just above the earth. There was war (a literal battle) between Michael with his angels, and the dragon with his angels.
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a Beast rise up out of the sea.” John’s gaze moves from the heavenlies to the earth, and he stands upon the sands of the sea to behold the next great event in the program of God as God brings all wickedness to an end and prepares earth for the kingdom of Heaven.
In chapter 1:9 we see John on the Isle of Patmos.
In chapter 4:1 he is caught up into Heaven. In chapter 13 we see him standing on the sands of the sea. In chapter 17 we will see him standing in the wilderness. In chapter 21:10 he takes his place on a high mountain. John has a grandstand view of all God’s doings in the Revelation God gave to him to give to you and me.
[Oliver B. Greene, Revelation, A Verse by Verse Study, Commentaries and Writings of Oliver B. Greene (The Gospel Hour, Inc., 1963), 259.]
Main Thought: Being warned in advance of the devil's diabolical devices, believers of all ages are encouraged to wait on God and keep the faith!
Sub-intro: Consider this contextual summary of the previous five chapters-
a
The Beast that was abruptly introduced in now received a full complement of description, including his nature, person and work. John’s series of interludes from Chapters Nine through Thirteen revealed the fall of Satan at the midpoint of the Tribulation (cf. ), the confirmation of no more delay (cf. ), the presentation of the two witnesses (cf. ), the fulfillment of the Seed promise conflict (cf. ), and now the archenemy’s heyday on earth (cf. ).
Chapter Thirteen begins with the beast as the Apostate system and ends with the beast as the Antichrist, the Beast-Man. The beast will imitate Christ in several ways, such as dying and coming back from death (cf. with 13:8), being Lamb-like (cf. with 13:8), utilizing swords (cf. , with 19:16), having horns (cf. with 5:6), and placing name on foreheads (cf. with 14:1 and 22:4).
...Chapter Thirteen begins with the beast as the Apostate system and ends with the beast as the Antichrist, the Beast-Man. The beast will imitate Christ in several ways, such as dying and coming back from death (cf. with 13:8), being Lamb-like (cf. with 13:8), utilizing swords (cf. , with 19:16), having horns (cf. with 5:6), and placing name on foreheads (cf. with 14:1 and 22:4).
Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 509-510.]
[Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 509.]
[Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013), 509-510.]

I. The Sea-Beast Encountered ().

A. His Ascension ().

Revelation 13:1 KJV 1900
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.
Note - Does your translation say “I stood...”, “he stood...”, “the dragon stood...”, “the serpent stood...”, or “it stood...”? The TR renders “I stood...” referring to John.
Note - his ascension is out of the “sea”
Isaiah 17:12–13 KJV 1900
Woe to the multitude of many people, Which make a noise like the noise of the seas; And to the rushing of nations, That make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: But God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, And shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, And like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
Note - Compare with:
Revelation 17:15 KJV 1900
And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

B. His Authority ().

1. Seven Heads - Complete Blasphemy

Leviticus 24:16 KJV 1900
And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.
Lev. 24:16
Note - Cursing God is a shortcut to death:
Job 1:5 KJV 1900
And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
Job 2:9 KJV 1900
Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
Note - Jesus was falsely accused of this heinous crime:
Matt. 12:31-32
Matthew 12:31–32 KJV 1900
Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
Matthew 26:65 KJV 1900
Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.
Mt. 26:65
Mark 2:7 KJV 1900
Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
Mk. 2:7
John 10:33–36 KJV 1900
The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
Jn. 10:33-36

2. Ten Crowned Horns - Corrupted Tyrant

Revelation 17:12 KJV 1900
And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
Note - Ten in Scripture -
a
ten is one of the perfect numbers, and signifies the perfection of Divine order, commencing, as it does, an altogether new series of numbers. ...
Completeness of order, marking the entire round of anything, is, therefore, the ever-present signification of the number ten. It implies that nothing is wanting; that the number and order are perfect; that the whole cycle is complete.
Noah - completed the antediluvian age in the tenth generation from God.
completed the antediluvian age in the tenth generation from God.
The Ten Commandments - contain all that is necessary, and no more than is necessary, both as to their number and their order, ....
contain all that is necessary, and no more than is necessary, both as to their number and their order, ....
The Lord’s Prayer{Lord’s Prayer}
is completed in ten clauses.199
The Tithes - represent the whole of what was due from man to God, as marking and recognizing God’s claim on the whole....
represent the whole of what was due from man to God, as marking and recognizing God’s claim on the whole....
The Redemption Money
was ten gerahs, and thus was acknowledged both what God claimed, and what man was responsible to give. Now ten gerahs was half a shekel (; ). Every male that was numbered, over 20 years of age, must pay this sum and meet God’s claim.200
But the first-born were to pay ten times as much; for when God took the Levites instead of the first-born of Israel, there were found
22,273 first-born males, but only
22,000 Levites. So that
273 had to pay the ransom money.
which amounted to ten times ten gerahs. Thus, though the five shekels looked like a variation, the significance of ten is sustained, for the five shekels were ten times the “half shekel.” (See , ).
The Ten Plagues - were representative of the complete circle of God’s judgments on Egypt. , “I will…send all my plagues.”
were representative of the complete circle of God’s judgments on Egypt. , “I will…send all my plagues.”
Antichrist’s World-Power - is comprised in the ten kingdoms, symbolized by the ten toes on the feet of the image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (), and by the ten horns of the fourth beast of Daniel’s vision (, , , etc.; ; ; , , ).
is comprised in the ten kingdoms, symbolized by the ten toes on the feet of the image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (), and by the ten horns of the fourth beast of Daniel’s vision (, , , etc.; ; ; , , ).
199 199. These clauses have the significance of their respective numbers:—
The first, God’s sovereignty.
The second, Jehovah’s manifested Name.
The third, the realization of God’s kingdom.
The fourth first mentions the earth.
The fifth, the gift of grace supplying our need.
The sixth treats of man’s sin.
The seventh pleads for spiritual guidance.
The eighth pleads for final deliverance from all evil.
The ninth sums up the divine glory (32), while
The tenth completes the eternal cycles.
200 200. When David numbered the people ( and ), this payment was not made and God’s claim was not met. Hence the judgment which followed.
Ethelbert W. Bullinger, Number in Scripture (Redding, CA: Pleasant Places Press, 2004), 243–244.
Note - Daniel’s Ten Horns -
a
The ten horns along with their accompanying ten crowns seem to parallel the ten horns of where they are described as ‘ten kings that shall arise.” Daniel’s several prophecies indicate a tenfold division of the final form of the revived Roman empire. These ten kings evidently are the rulers over that tenfold division. Daniel seems to indicate that these ten kings (leaders) will be the political base from whence the antichrist rises to power. They apparently are the political and cultural descendants of the old Roman world. That today is essentially what is known as the western world. The name of blasphemy on the heads of the beast evidently is the godless nature of the world’s system down through the ages. The titles worn by various pagan emperors of these eras down through the ages have routinely been blasphemous.
[David H. Sorenson, Understanding the Bible, An Independent Baptist Commentary - Hebrews through Revelation, vol. 11, Understanding the Bible, An Independent Baptist Commentary (Northstar Ministries, 2007), 465.]

C. His Attributes ().

Revelation 13:2 KJV 1900
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.
Note - This is a “Bear-footed, Lion-mouthed Leopard”!
Note - Compare with Daniel’s Vision:
a
John described the current beast with the brutish characteristics of the kingdoms in Daniel’s dream depicting, in reverse order of chronological prominence the Grecian, Medo-Persian, and Babylonian kingdoms. The Antichrist’s kingdom will have speed like that of the ancient Greeks, power like that of the Medo-Persians, and boldness like that of the Babylonians. His kingdom will be the amalgamated fourth kingdom (the Roman, described with great iron teeth [cf. ]), but revived, as the Revived Roman Empire.
[Strouse, 514.]
In , Daniel saw the same three beasts in reverse order. The reason for this is apparent: Daniel stood at the beginning of the age of Gentile world dominion and therefore saw Babylon first, while John stood at the end of the Gentile age, looking back.
In , Daniel saw the same three beasts in reverse order. The reason for this is apparent: Daniel stood at the beginning of the age of Gentile world dominion and therefore saw Babylon first, while John stood at the end of the Gentile age, looking back. [Greene, 260.]
[Greene, 260.]
Oliver B. Greene, 260.]

II. The Sea-Beast Empowered ().

A. The Source of His Power ().

Revelation 13:2 KJV 1900
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.
Note - Some see the beast as Satan incarnate -
a
The symbolic description of “the beast” enables us to learn something about his origin and character. God does not see him as a man, made in the divine image, but as a wild animal, under the control of Satan. He is a man (); but he is energized from hell, for he comes out of the pit (; ). Just as Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, so “the beast” will be Satan in a human body (see , ).
[Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 604.]

B. The Sign of His Power ().

Revelation 13:3 KJV 1900
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.
Note - Important word pictures:
“as it were” - bearing strong resemblance to
“wounded to death” -
The verb refers to the cutting of the throat as the means to slaughter sheep (cf. ). Apparently, Cain cut Abel’s throat as his rebellious gesture toward God’s demand for a bloody sacrifice. “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous” (; cf. with ). [Strouse, Footnote 1981]
Thomas M. Strouse, To the Seven Churches: A Commentary on the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ, Selected Works of Dr. Thomas M. Strouse (Bible Baptist Theological Press, 40 Country Squire Rd., Cromwell, CT 06461, 2013).]
“wound” - root for English, Plague
“healed” - root for English, Therapeutic
Note - His sign will be counterfeit to the Lord’s resurrection, but in terms of “reincarnation” instead.
a
Satan has hated the doctrine of resurrection, which teaches the resurrection of the flesh and requires the “God was manifest in the flesh” () necessity of the incarnation. In the Garden of Eden, the old serpent deceived Adam and Eve with his lie (; ) of the two basic tenets of 1) the deification, and 2) the deathlessness of man. Historically, these two tenets manifested in ancient (e.g., Babylonianism, Egyptian religion) and current religions (Hinduism and Mormons) as the pantheistic doctrine that man will become one with God through numerous reincarnations which cast off the body as “evil” flesh.
[Strouse, 517.]
a
Note - While the Sacred Text does allow for this to be death (- only God can quicken; raised for God’s purpose), the better understanding is that we see the beast wounded to death, and wound was healed, followed by idolatry.
Note - the better understanding - wounded to death, and wound was healed; followed by idolatry
C. Jason Walker, Course Notes - Pensacola Theological Seminary | Commentary, n.d., .

C. The Shockwaves of His Perversity ().

Note - The Chiastic Parallelism seen in vv. 4-8 with verse 6 where “x marks the spot.”

1. A World-wide Worship Movement (, ).

Revelation 13:4 KJV 1900
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?
Note - Paul’s description of the Man of Sin:
2 Thessalonians 2:7–9 KJV 1900
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 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,
Revelation 13:8 KJV 1900
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.
Note - Satan has always desired to be worshipped by man, and even by Jesus, and yet we are reminded of Paul’s words concerning idolatry:
1 Corinthians 10:19–20 KJV 1900
What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.
Note - On the “Book of Life” -
a
This is the second of seven times the expression “book of life” occurs in the [Revelation] (cf. ; ; ; , ; ; ); it also occurs in Paul’s letter to the Philippians (). [Strouse, 528.]
Note - On the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world...” -
1 Peter 1:19–20 KJV 1900
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
1Pet. 1:19-20
[Strouse, 528.]

2. A World-Dominating Dictatorship (, ).

Revelation 13:5 KJV 1900
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.
Rev. 13
Revelation 13:7 KJV 1900
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.

3. Warfare Waged Against All True Believers (, ).

Revelation 13:5 KJV 1900
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.
Revelation 13:7 KJV 1900
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.
Note - See Daniel’s prophecy:
Daniel 7:21 KJV 1900
I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
Note - On “Overcoming”-
The Dragon will overcome Tribulation believers by killing them, while Tribulation saints will overcome Satan by faith! Who really is victorious (cf. )? [Strouse]
The Dragon will overcome Tribulation believers by killing them, while Tribulation saints will overcome Satan by faith! Who really is victorious (cf. )? [Strouse]
Thomas M. Strouse]

4. Wicked & Rebellious Blasphemy Against God Himself and His Holy Dwelling ().

Revelation 13:6 KJV 1900
And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
Note - The Scriptures consistently associate this serious wickedness with the Antichrist:
Daniel 7:25 KJV 1900
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
Daniel 11:36 KJV 1900
And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
Dan. 11:36
Note - This beast is NOTHING; all that he has is from the devil, and that only what God allows the devil to do for a season. This is emphasized readily in the words, “…the dragon gave...” or “…it was given him...” (i.e. passively, he is the recipient). Without the dragon, he has nothing. The saddest part is that he is just the devil’s pawn in the end, like Judas.

III. A Parable for the Spiritual Ear ().

A. Can You Hear God? ().

Revelation 13:9 KJV 1900
If any man have an ear, let him hear.
Note - Difference from the Church Letters - see , , , ; , ,
Note - Urgency, with the sense of “Hear Now!”
Note - Jesus’ use of the expression during His earthly ministry: see ; , ; , ; ; ; . Reference the dual nature of parables.
, , , ; , ,

B. Justice Will Be Served ().

Revelation 13:10 KJV 1900
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.

1. The Kidnapper Will Be Locked Up for Good!

Revelation 13:10 KJV 1900
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.

2. The Killer Will Meet with Capital Punishment!

Revelation 13:10 KJV 1900
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.

C. Wait on God and Don’t Lose Faith ().

Revelation 13:10 KJV 1900
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.
Rev. 13:10

Conclusion:

No matter what age, whether during the persecutions of the church age, or the tribulation yet to come, God’s people are encouraged to wait on the Lord, to be of good courage, and to believe that God is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him, therefore, we live live like Moses, with respect to the recompense of the reward. Everything is going to work out good in the end. Don’t let this nasty beast scare you, God’s going to take of him!
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