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ATN13 - "An Unholy Trinity"

“All Things New”

  • The Revelation of John is what is, what was and what is to come. It’s a manifesto for the Kingdom of God – a public declaration of God’s intentions; things which “are” and “are to come”

  • He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Shema levot: Hb.“hearing hearts.” To hear is to obey, belief takes form ONLY in action. The entire book is about covenant keeping – and the justice which God adjudicates for Himself, His Church and the human race at large

  • With Chapters 1-3, we started out on earth with the Seven Churches           

  • With Chapters 4-8:5, we ascend into heaven to see things that are and are to come

  • With Chapters 8:6-11:19, we see the judgements of the Seven Trumpets, with God beginning to take up His rule over the Earth

  • The tribulation and the Kingdom and the patient endurance. Yet, it is all “in Jesus” – making it both possible and hope-filled (2017: Jeremiah 29:11)

Satan’s Grand Scheme Unfolds – and is Defeated! Revelation 12:1-14:20

  • This is yet another view from Heaven’s perspective

  • “Dramatis personae”

    • The Woman – Israel (“Sun & moon” = Jacob & Rachel)

    • The Red Dragon – Satan, the Anti-father, the first 6, the false god

    • The Male-Child – Christ, who ascended into heaven

    • Her Children – The Church, who are covenant-faithful

    • The First Beast – The Anti-Christ, the second 6, the false messianic king

    • The Second beast – The False Prophet, the Anti-Spirit, the third 6, leader of a false religion

  • The Sign of the Woman & The War in Heaven (12:1-17)

    • Vs. 1-4 – Satan and his demonic host war against Israel to keep the Messiah from being born

    • V. 5 – The Messiah is born and “caught up” into heaven

    • V.6 – The woman (Israel) is sent into the “wilderness” to be protected – the diaspora of the Jews after 70 A.D.

    • The celestial conflict, Satan being cast down: Revelation 12:7-12

    • Pictures of Satan’s dethronement and ongoing warfare: Luke 10:17-20, Ephesians 6:10-12, Colossians 2:15

    • Satan’s power is overthrown, but he is not yet completely defeated

    • Vs. 13-16 – Satan cannot destroy Israel which is hiding in the “wilderness”

    • V. 17 – so the enemy makes war on the Church instead. This is a picture of the spiritual conflict we now endure: Revelation 12:11

  • The First Beast (13:1-10)

    • The beast is a picture of the “Roman Empire”, as successor to the Greeks (leopard), Medo-Persians (bear) and the Babylonians (lion) – (cf. Daniel 7:4-6), represents the world-wide governing power of the Anti-Christ

    • “Rising out of the sea” – the Anti-Christ arises through the discord in the nations brought on by the devolution of human society

    • “Horns and heads” – supported by various rules and nations, one of which appears to be resurrected

    • “Blasphemous names” – like Caesar, declares his divinity

    • The “beast” is demonically empowered by Satan and persecutes the church. The saints are called to keep covenant and not compromise – even unto captivity and death

  • The Second Beast (13:11-18)

    • Looks like Christ, speaks like the Devil – false religion

    • Religious entity given authority by the First Beast

    • Performs false miracles in the name of the beast (false Holy spirit)

    • Controls labor and commerce through the “mark” of the unholy trinity: 666. Right hand and forehead: all labor and allegiance dedicated in universal submission to the Beast

    • Jesus IEHOE = 888; Nero, Titus/Latin Empire (and Hitler) = 666, humanity’s best, demonically empowered effort is not enough to compare to Christ! The “number of humanity” is never enough to compare with the Divine!

    • The complete control of government, religion and commerce, through an evil theocracy – will reoccur throughout all of history and ultimately in the final Anti-Christ/unholy trinity at the end

  • The Lamb and The 144,000 (14:1-5)

    • A vision of assurance: The victorious Lamb is shown with the complete number of His saints who have kept covenant with Him, now securely sharing in His heavenly glory

  • Three Messages, Three Choices (14:6-13)

    • V.12 – “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” Don’t give in to the pressure of the world system to compromise – and be saved from destruction

1.      Choose to acknowledge and worship the true Father

2.      Choose to align with the Kingdom government of the true Christ

3.      Choose to worship the one true God in the Spirit of Truth, in spirit and truth: John 4:23-24

  • The blessing on those who endure the “wearying toil,” even if they die

  • The Harvest of the Earth (14:14-20)

    • Vs. 14-16: The First Harvest – first, Redemption

    • Vs. 17-20: The Second Harvest – then, Wrath

    • This sets up what is to happen next – the Seven Bowls of Wrath with Seven Plagues!

How This Applies to Us

  • We, as the Church, live in constant spiritual conflict with the Enemy

  • The mission of Christ through His Church is to continually advance His kingdom, “dethroning” Satan through the proclamation and demonstration of His Kingdom reign and rule in the Earth (1 John 3:8b)

  • The spirit of Anti-Christ is at work in the Church Age through the “man of lawlessness”: 1 John 2:22-25, 4:1-6; 2 John 7-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

  • The devolution of human societies leads to dictatorial leaders who act like a messiah, controlling all elements of human society

  • Ultimately, Satan will establish a final dictator that Christ must deal with directly

  • Until He does, the Church is anointed in Christ to “to proclaim good news to the poor…to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18b-19)

  • While there is a great harvest of souls at the end of the age, there is a harvest in EVERY generation, including ours! Matthew 9:35-38

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