Back

Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.

LESSON 3 - ESCAPE FROM RELIGIOUS TYRANNY (REVELATION 13:1-10)

INTRODUCTION:  LETS REVIEW OUR LAST FEW WEEKS IN THE BOOK OF REV.  2
WEEKS AGO, HAD THE DRAGON, THE DEVIL, CHASING AFTER JESUS AND THE
CHURCH.  LAST WEEK HAD HIM CHASING AFTER YOU, THE REMNANT.  THIS WEEK
WE FIRST FIND HIM STANDING AROUND. 

I. A NEW BEAST
      A. READ REV.13:1A. AFTER ALL HIS CHASING AROUND, WHY WOULD YOU
GUESS HE IS STANDING ON THE SEASHORE? (WAITING FOR AN ALLY.  PERHAPS A
CHANGE IN TACTICS, RELY MORE ON OTHERS TO DO HIS WORK.)
      B. DOES WAITING AROUND PAY OFF? (YES, BEAST COMES UP.)
      C. WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT THIS BEAST IN JUST A MINUTE, BUT FIRST
WANT YOU TO CONSIDER THIS.  IN V.2B IT SAYS, "THE DRAGON GAVE THE BEAST
HIS POWER AND HIS THRONE AND HIS GREAT AUTHORITY."
            1. THE DRAGON IS THE DEVIL (12:9. WHAT POWER AND
                  AUTHORITY DOES THE DEVIL HAVE? (DECEIVE, COUNTERFEIT,
                  MAKE CLAIM TO GOD'S AUTHORITY.)
            2. DOES THAT GIVE YOU ANY INSIGHT INTO WHAT THIS BEAST
                  REALLY IS? (MUST BE A RELIGIOUS POWER, OR AT LEAST
                  A SECULAR POWER THAT LAYS CLAIM TO SPIRITUAL
                  AUTHORITY. ALSO OBVIOUSLY OPPOSED TO GOD.) 
      D. NOW LETS LOOK AT THE BEAST. READ REV. 13:1&2
      E. IF YOU WERE MUGGED BY THIS BEAST, WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO PICK HIM
OUT OF A LINE-UP?
            1. LETS WRITE DOWN HIS CHARACTERISTICS:
                  a. SEA BIRTH (REV17:15 SAYS WATERS=MULTITUDES)
                  b. 10 HORNS
                  c. 7 HEADS
                  d. 10 CROWNS ON THE HORNS
                  e. HEADS HAVE WRITING--BLASPHEMY
                  f. BEAR/LEOPARD/LION
      F. DO YOU REMEMBER SOME OF HIS CHARACTERISTICS FROM BEFORE?
            1. LOOK AT REV. 12:3
      G. ANY PLACE ELSE YOU SEE THIS?
            1. TURN WITH ME TO DAN.7:3-7. READ
                  a. WHAT KIND OF BIRTH? (SEA V.3)
                  b. WHAT KIND OF ANIMALS? (BEAR/LION/LEOPARD/TERRIBLE)
                  c. HOW MANY HEADS? (LION-1, BEAR-1, LEOPARD-4(V.6),
                        TERRIBLE-1. TOTAL-7)
                  d. HOW MANY HORNS? (10-V.7B)
                  e. WHAT ABOUT THE BLASPHEMY PART? (SEE V.24&25)
      H. SOMETHING ELSE ABOUT THIS BEAST THAT I WANT YOU TO NOTICE.  LOOK
AT REV. 12:6 LOOK AT REV. 13:5 AND COMPARE WITH DAN 7:25. (PERIOD OF
DOMINANCE THE SAME. TIME, TIMES AND HALF A TIME=3.5 YEARS. WHICH EQUALS
42 MONTHS. WHICH EQUALS 1260 DAYS)
            1. SOMETHING IS CERTAINLY GOING ON HERE. 
      I. WHAT DO YOU THINK? ARE DANIEL AND JOHN TALKING ABOUT  THE SAME
THING?  IS JOHN'S BEAST A COMPOSITE OF THOSE THAT DAN. SAW?
      J. IF YOU THINK THAT THE FIT IS GOOD ENOUGH, DAN. GIVES US A FULLER
DESCRIPTION OF WHAT THE WHOLE THING MEANS. AN INTERPRETATION, BY THE
WAY, THAT IS NOT AT ALL UNIQUE TO OUR CHURCH.
            1. TURN TO DAN. 7:15-19. READ. WHAT MEAN? BAB.,MEDO-PERS.,
GREECE, AND ROME.
            2. NOW READ VS.20-25. DAN. PLAINLY SAYS THAT THE 10 HORNS ARE
LINKED WITH THE ROMAN EMPIRE. 
            3. THIS IS THE SAME THING THAT WE DEDUCED WHEN WE LOOKED AT
REV. 12:4B-6. DURING TIME OF ROMAN EMPIRE CHRIST BORN AND DEVIL TRIED TO
KILL HIM THROUGH HEROD'S DECREE TO KILL THE BABIES.
      K. THE AMAZING THING HERE IS THE UNITY BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW
TESTAMENTS. THE PROPHECIES OF DANIEL AND JOHN FIT VERY WELL.
      L. LETS LOOK SOME MORE AT DANIEL.  HE TELLS US ABOUT THESE TEN
HORNS. READ DAN. 7:24-25.
            1. DO YOU SEE THIS HORN AS A RELIGIOUS POWER? (SPEAKS AGAINST
GOD. TRIES TO CHANGE GOD'S LAW. PERSECUTES THE SAINTS.)
            2. THIS SQUARES WITH THE IDEA THAT THE BEAST IS GIVEN THE
AUTHORTY OF THE DEVIL.  IT IS A RELIGIOUS AUTHORITY.
      M. HISTORICALLY, WHAT IS THE SPIRITUAL/ POLITICAL POWER THAT AROSE
AFTER ROME AND WAS GIVEN AUTHORITY BY ROME AND HAD ITS THRONE AT THE
SEAT OF ROME? (THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.)
      N. AS SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS, ONE OF THE CRITICAL REFERENCES IN
DAN. 7:25 TO THE HORN CHANGING TIMES AND LAWS. DID THE ROMAN CHURCH IN
ALLIANCE WITH THE ROMAN EMPIRE CHANGE ANY TIMES OR LAWS?
(CONSTANTINE- CHRISTIANITY THE OFFICIAL RELIGION OF ROME AND SUNDAY THE
OFFICIAL DAY.)
II. WHY
      A. LETS LOOK AT A MORE PRACTICAL SIDE OF THIS.
      B. WHY DOES GOD ALLOW THIS?  WHY LET THE DRAGON RUN AROUND LIKE
THIS ON THE OFFENSIVE AGAINST THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN THEIR ALLEGIANCE TO
GOD? (REV.12:4. READ.  WE ARE TALKING ABOUT LARGE NUMBERS HERE. THERE IS
A SERIOUS PROBLEM.
      C. NOW READ REV. 12:7-9. THE SAME ARGUMENTS ABOUT THE CHARACTER
OF GOD THAT EXISTED IN HEAVEN ARE TAKING PLACE ON EARTH.  UNLIKE THE
DEVIL WHO IS WILLING TO USE FORCE, THE LORD WANTS US TO BE PERSUADED
THAT HE IS BETTER. THAT HIS WAY IS RIGHT.  FOR THAT REASON HE ALLOWS THE
PICTURE TO BE COMPLETELY PLAYED OUT.

III.NEXT WEEK: THE SECOND HALF OF REV. 13--WE WILL SEE HOW THE UNITED
STATES FITS INTO THE PICTURE.