Revelation 17:17 Ultimate Control

“For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God’s words are fulfilled.” Revelation 17:17

The event that is being described in this passage is a time when the beast is rising in his rule over the world. All the people, nations, and rulers are giving the beast the authority to rule. Nations of the world are refusing to follow God and give Him the honor of being the ruler.

The interesting part in all of this occurring is that it is being done because God wants it done that way. God placed it in the hearts of the people to give the beast his authority.

This now draws an interesting problem: do people have free will to follow God or not to follow God; or does God make the choice for them? Although there are some that say people have no choice, that it is completely up to God, the Bible does not show that.

Jesus came to save the whole world, not just some. Any who call on the name of Jesus will be saved. God has called all to repentance.

God gives each person a choice to follow Him or not to follow Him. God in His infinite knowledge knows what a person is like and what he will do. Just as you can predict how a very close friend will most likely act in a situation, God knows this, only with perfect accuracy.

Although the world seems to think that they are in control, it is really God who is controlling events. He placed it in the hearts of the rulers to give the beast his authority and power. God is allowing depraved man to continue in his ways. Ultimately this will bring about God’s punishment and reveal His true authority.

Each day you look out, you may see the world seeming to be winning the battle. It often seems like corruption and sinful living is the only way to live. Sinful living grows more and more all the time. Rulers in power seem to be more open about sinful ways being acceptable.

Trust that God is in control and knows what is happening. Everything happens according to His plan. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Keep serving God with all that is in you. God will win in the end.

I pray today that God will reveal His plans for you today; that you will not get discouraged when things look bad; that God will reveal the authority He has; and that you will remain true to God in everything you do.

Revelation 14:9-10 God’s Fury

“A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.” Revelation 14:9-10

This passage is looking into the future at a time when a beast shall rise up and rule the entire world. I do not know who or what this beast is, but it is shown in the Bible that it will be against God in every way possible.

God is now putting an end to this beast and his rule. In these verses an angel gives a warning to not worship or take on its mark. Whoever worships or takes the mark of the beast will face God’s fury.

Notice that John stated that God’s fury will be poured out in full strength. God will not hold anything back at this point. If God has the power to create the world, stars and universe, imagine how much power He has to torment anyone who worships that beast. All that power to create will go into torment.

Although I do not believe this beast is reigning on the earth today, its philosophy and characteristics are present today. Everywhere you look there are many false religions being worshipped. Everywhere you look things are being worshipped: cars, jobs, people, homes, money and more.

People dedicate their lives to getting these things or doing certain things that do not include God at all. Sin and sinful things are accepted and promoted as good. The mark of these sinful things are being taken on by using them, physically wearing a mark of them, and promoting them.

A simple example is a movie comes out that is sinful. A person goes to the movie; then buys the movie, a poster, a shirt, a hat, and a costume. These things are taking on the mark of that sinful movie…the mark of the beast.

Today you must turn from sinful ways. Do not allow yourself to take on the mark of sin. Be sealed with the mark of the Holy Spirit in your life. Keep your eyes and life on God and God alone.

I pray today that God will seal you with His Holy Spirit; that you will turn from all sin; that you will not receive the mark of sin in your life; that you will worship God and God alone; and that you will be His witness to others.

Revelation 13:10 Endurance and Faithfulness

“If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people.” Revelation 13:10

John had just revealed some disturbing information. At some point there will be a beast that will rise up in power and conquer the entire world. This is bad in itself, but he will also be given power to conquer God’s people.

As this beast gains this power and wages this war, everyone who does not believe in Jesus will worship him. In a simple way of putting it: it will be the entire world against a few believers.

Now John tells you that any person destined for captivity or death by the sword will go into captivity or die by the sword. No person really knows who is the one to go into captivity or to die by the sword. Not knowing this information each believer must now have patient endurance and faithfulness to God.

Patient endurance is quietly waiting on the Lord. Times will be hard. The danger will be extremely high. Evil will be everywhere at a level never before seen. Yet, the believer must not complain and endure it all.

Along with the patient endurance, the believer must be faithful to God. He must continue to worship God and God alone. He must continue to be His witness and do everything God directs him to do. This will put him at odds with the world, making him a target.

As a believer is put into captivity, he must remember that it was God who allowed it. If a believer is killed, again, he must remember that God allowed it. God is in control. Other believers must also watch and trust God through it all.

Although today, in America, the risk of going to jail or being killed for your belief in God is very slim, other dangers are still around. Being an open witness for God can bring opposition from the world. You may not get that job promotion; you may lose your job; you may be ridiculed; you may be falsely lied about; or may even be physically harmed some.

Today you must still have patient endurance and faithfulness. Do not allow the struggles of the day discourage you or change you. The devil and the world will not like you and will try to stop you from being His witness. Hang in there and be true to God. Doing this today will also strengthen you for tomorrow when things will get worse. Remember: God is in control.

I pray today that God will strengthen you for the battles coming in your life; that you will be patient; that you will endure the hardships; that you will be faithful to God; that God will make Himself more real to you; and that you will stay in the center of God’s will.