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 August 11, 2018

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year

Text: Isaiah 64-66
Audio: Isaiah 64-66

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Memory Verse of the Week

The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, 21 nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
(Revelation 9:20-21 ESV)

Revelation 13 (ESV)

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”

And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear:

10 If anyone is to be taken captive,
    to captivity he goes;
if anyone is to be slain with the sword,
    with the sword must he be slain.

Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.

11 Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. 13 It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, 14 and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. 16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18 This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

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Next: Revelation 14

Back: Revelation 12

This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints. Revelation 13:10

    Cliffhanger

    In Matthew 26:51, Mark 14:47, Luke 22:50, and John 18:10, we read that Peter used his sword to cut the ear off of one of the men who came to arrest Jesus. What was Peter doing with a sword? 

    It's clear Peter had a "concealed carry permit" from the Lord Jesus. Jesus Himself told His disciples in Luke 22:36-38, "But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” 38 And they said, "Look, Lord, here are two swords." And he said to them, "It is enough."

    Many commentators say Jesus is speaking metaphorically here and is not telling his disciples to buy actual swords. Well, I don't buy that explanation! Here's why:

    1. Peter was carrying the sword with him when Jesus was arrested. Jesus knew Peter was armed. 

    2. Jesus did not rebuke Peter for having a sword or ask him why he would have it.

    3. Having a sword for protection is not the same as using deadly force when deadly force was not necessary. Approaching and questioning Jesus at that point would not require deadly force.

    4. Just because you have a sword does not mean you have to use it.

    5. Carrying a sword (or other weapon) can let perpetrators know not to mess with you (even if you never intend to use it). 

    Imagine if a woman was walking alone to her car in a dimly-lit parking garage and a man approached her in a threatening way. Startled, she reaches in her purse and pulls out a gun, aims it at the perpetrator and yells, "Stop or I'll shoot!" What perpetrator would continue to advance toward her? 

    Now, imagine if her gun wasn't loaded because she was against killing anyone or she was afraid of guns but still wanted to protect herself. The perpetrator's first response wouldn't be to question whether or not the gun is loaded or if she would use it. If someone pulls out a gun, they mean business and most perpetrators, even the most aggressive ones, will turn and run when a gun is pointed at them. If they don’t run, most will at least stop which gives you an opportunity to prevent an attack.

    Having a gun in your hand may not stop all violent crimes against you but it would certainly be a deterrent if you ever pulled it out to stop an attack.

    Police are justified to use deadly force if a suspect has something that looks like it might be a gun in their hand and they look like they're going to point it at them or someone else. Even if what they're holding is a wallet, the police can use deadly force if it looks like a gun and the suspect is acting in a threatening way. This is why police always say, "Put your hands up!" Usually the next sentence is, "Stop or I'll shoot!" 

    Romans 13:3-4 says, "For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer."

    These warnings of "Put your hands up" and "Stop or I'll shoot" are a grace given to the suspect in hopes to stop the perpetrator without having to use deadly force. 

    Having a weapon does not mean using it.

    Jesus responded to Peter's violence against the arresting officer in Matthew 26:52 saying, "Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?" Jesus then healed the man's ear (Luke 22:51) saying "No more of this!"

    Does Revelation 13:10 (which is a paraphrase that combines Jeremiah 15:2 and Jeremiah 43:11) teach that as Christians, we are to lay down arms at all times?

    Is a Christian ever justified in carrying a weapon?

    Is a Christian ever justified in using deadly force?

    Should Christians allow perpetrators to do whatever they will against us and our loved ones?

    Come to church tomorrow and find out!

    (Now you know why I titled my post Cliffhanger).

  2. “If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.” Revelation 13:10 

    In the last chapter, we saw the hatred Satan has for believers. In this chapter, we see the lengths he goes to in that hatred, deliberately setting out to deceive everyone on the earth into worshiping not God, but another. 

    The way I read this chapter, only one group of people will be immune from this deception: those whose names have been written in the Lamb’s book of life. 

    And here is where things will get especially difficult for Christians. Because we will be the only people in the whole world who are not deceived, and who will not worship “the dragon” or “the beast.” 

    But note the following:  

    “Also [the beast] was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them.” v. 7

    “And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation…” v. 8

    ”…and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.” v. 9

    “If anyone has an ear, let him hear: If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain.” v. 10

    Who allows this Great War against the saints? Who gives this authority?

    Remember this?: “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’” Matthew‬ ‭28:18‬ ‭ESV‬

    But He also said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew‬ ‭28:19-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    Yes. Even to those who take us into captivity and kill us by the sword. Because perhaps we are given over to be persecuted so we might bear witness to Jesus Christ. 

    ”Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.” v. 10

    Amen. 

    ‭‭

  3. Revelation 13:5-10 (ESV)

    5  And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 6  It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7  Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, 8  and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. 9  If anyone has an ear, let him hear: 10  If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.

    Reading through Revelation can be overwhelming, it can seem chaotic and depressing. However, through it all, I see the sovereignty of God. Through this passage about the persecution of believers, God reinforces that the 'beast' only operates within the confines of what God permits.

    1. Amen, Dan. Reading Revelation 14 today, I was reminded of the book of Daniel. So many things!! But here, in Revelation 13 and your comments, I’m reminded that God allowed the Babylonian captivity.

      When we read the Old Testament together as a church…wow. I can’t wait. Especially after reading Revelation. 

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