David Pawson - Revelation Seminar Part 4a

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Thoughtful Thoughts 21.6.24 by John Dunning. Revelation 12-15

Satan’s marks & plagues

Introduction

The simplest understanding of these chapters is that Jesus warns His followers that they will face persecution in the ‘great tribulation’ at the end of time… So we are going to go through what Jesus said about it… Audio of these chapters can be clicked on, through our devotional page and the link is at the end of this homily… Some homework is necessary… Revelation is more challenging to understand than other books and needs more time…

CHAPTER 12; Satan is thrown out of heaven by angels.

More seems to be understood about Revelation as we approach the end times, in the sense that Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and others never got to grips with its message, and dismissed it. Then there were whole denominations that twisted the message to fit around their doctrines. Jesus warned in Revelation 22:18-19 of the dangers of doing that. 

Some things are explained within the passage, so some things have been interpreted for us. For example, we are told here that the dragon is Satan (12:9). The angels fought against the dragon and cast him out of heaven to the earth, and verse 12 tells us that the earth will suffer because of that.

Satan knows his end is near (12:12) and therefore throws everything he can at believers on the earth while he still can, (12:12). Soon he won’t be able to do that, but meantime, God provides a place of safety for His people…

CHAPTER 13; Satan’s mark is put on everyone without God’s mark…

13:1-10

A powerful religious leader, (the beast), emerges, who Satan gives great power to. Everyone on earth will worship this figure except those belonging to the Lamb, v.8. God’s people must endure and keep on persevering, v.10b.

13:11-18

Then another powerful religious figure emerges who does magic tricks and who makes people worship the first beast, but who is only a man. V.18, (represented by the number 666, which represents man.)

At this time, believers will be identified as those REFUSING Satan’s mark, (13:16-18).

i).  God’s terror will fall on those siding with the evil one. 

ii). God’s terror will not affect those choosing to wear God’s mark of ownership, which God will put on His own people, (Ch.7:3). His terrors will not hurt them. Compare that with what happened in ancient Egypt to God’s people when blood was put above the doorposts of God’s people. The angels passed by the doors that had been identified as belonging to God’s people. The blood on the doorposts protected the occupants from God’s judgment coming on the Egyptians. In other words, in Revelation Jesus is giving His church a “heads up” of what is to come. 

CHAPTER 14; Persecution during the tribulation…

A). Revelation 14:1-5 The Lamb and the 144,000

An amazing choir follows the Lamb wherever He goes. It is made up of 144,000 humans who had lived lives for their Lord on earth which were sacrificial and selfless. They were so devoted to their Lord that they were single-minded and totally devoted. These were the ones that the Lord wanted to have in His worship team. 

They had not sought a life for themselves – but to live solely for God. (By way of illustration, John the Baptist was highly commended by Jesus.)

B). Revelation 14:6-13 The Three Angels

Angel 1 – An angel will make sure that the Gospel is proclaimed worldwide to an even greater degree.

Angel 2 – Another angel proclaims the fall of Babylon. Babylon had once been a place, but ended up as a being used as a word to describe places of total corruption. It is used repeatedly in scripture to define one city after another that was corrupt. 

Angel 3 – A third angel warns that anyone who takes the mark of the beast has put themselves squarely on the side of evil and will go to the place reserved for the evil one. 

Rev. 14:12-13 is in the period of the “great tribulation” and so Jesus said, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, from now on”...

Question: Who are the people who are being so faithful to Jesus during this tribulation period, that they die in the Lord?

Answer: Only believers are ever labeled as those who “die in the Lord”, and only believers would remain so faithful to Jesus, that they would continue to stand up for Him even to martyrdom. Jesus promises that they will be “blessed”. It is a very special encouragement being given to believers who are right in the middle of the ‘great tribulation’. So we see that Jesus said His disciples would be persecuted during the ‘great tribulation’.

C). Revelation 14:14-20 Harvesting the Earth and Trampling the Winepress

Jesus comes in a white cloud and angels separate out those destined for God’s wrath. 

CHAPTER 15; Seven angels with seven plagues 

1-8 The seven plagues are the wrath of God being poured out.

Seven more plagues provide warnings to man to repent before it’s too late. Warnings are running out. (Compare the warnings God gave to Israel before their exile.)

Epilogue

Edited from one of the early church leaders, approx. AD150-250, this was written 

describing Christians:-

“As citizens, they share in all things with others and yet endure all things

as if foreigners. 

Every foreign land is to them as their native country and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven…

They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners.”

In Revelation, Jesus warns believers to keep on, keeping on, by not becoming discouraged and giving up on their faith. That is a good enough reason for reading Revelation yourself. More next time…

[ PS. The ‘suffering church.’ https://barnabasfund.org/nz/pray/daily-prayer/#previous-dates ]

This is John Dunning signing off from “Thoughtful Thoughts” for another week.

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