“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
God revealed to John that there would be a day in which the beast, the devil, would be given power to rule upon the earth. He would be given power to fight against all believers. During this time it is pointed out that anyone destined to captivity or dying by the sword will go into captivity or die by the sword.
Over the centuries many different leaders have led many different countries. Each one is a little different. Some are sympathetic to believers, while others fight believers directly. The world as a whole, however, does fight against believers. While it does appear to ebb and flow some, as a whole it the fight is getting stronger and stronger.
No one likes to hear that they may have to go into captivity or be killed. This is especially true for the believer, who is not doing anything wrong, yet, this is what will happen to many believers.
John is quick to point out that believers must then be patient and faithful during this time. While sitting in captivity, they must have patience in waiting on God’s move. They must be faithful all the way to the point of death.
In the end God and all His people will win the battle. However, until then, times will be rough, persecution and suffering will be great, and death will occur. No believer is to throw in the towel and follow the ways of the world. Nor are they to fear what is happening or could happen.
As you go through or see rough times, you must stay focused on God. He has given the promise to save you. He has shown you how to live your life. He has promised that in the end He will win the battle. There will be a time when all suffering and death will end.
Until that time, stay faithful to God and wait patiently for His timing. Do not be anxious or worried, God will win in the end and if you are following Jesus, you also will win the battle.
Are you being patient and faithful today?
I pray today that you will know the promises of God for you; that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will not fear the evil in this world; that God will fill you with His patience; and that you will be faithful to God.
Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” John 18:11
The disciples were in a garden and had just finished praying when a group of soldiers and leaders came up to arrest Jesus. Peter tried to defend Jesus and cut off a servant’s ear with his sword. Jesus rebuked him saying that He needed to drink the cup His Father had given to Him.
People love to accept gifts that are good gifts. The definition of good gifts, is gifts that are usable, helpful, makes a person feel good and are pleasurable. They are eager to accept these gifts because they are usually what the person wants.
There are many times that a person gets a gift that he really does not want. Such as a child getting a pair of socks for Christmas. The child wanted toys more than clothes. The child is very disappointed with the socks, because it is not what he desired.
Adults get the same way. They will get some gift that they really did not want. Although most adults don’t complain out loud, they do mumble under their breath at not wanting it.
Believers in God have the same problem. God gives things to people all the time. Sometimes those things are physical things, other times it is situations. When the good things come in, people are happy. They like when they get great favor, a pay raise, repairs done, a healing, the needed sleep, and other ‘good’ things.
However, along with giving ‘good’ things, God also gives, what appears to be ‘bad’ things. There are times of sickness, breakdowns, job loss, persecution, hatred and more. As with Jesus getting arrested, these things appear to be bad.
The important thing to remember is that God only gives you what is best for your life. God will not give you anything that will not be for your benefit. Even the bad things can be for your benefit.
When a bad situation happens, it is time to turn to God for strength and direction. It is not a time to fight back and complain of what is happening.
Trust God that He knows what is best for your life. So accept all things that He puts in your path. Do not accept only the good and reject what appears to be bad. With God, all can be used for good.
I pray today that you will see God giving you all that you need; that you will trust God’s provisions; that you will seek God’s strength in tough times; and that you will give God thanks for everything.
“Jesus commanded Peter, Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” John 18:11
Jesus and the disciples were in a garden and had just been doing some praying. Judas and some soldiers came up to arrest Jesus. Peter grabs his sword and fights back cutting the ear of one person. Jesus quickly rebukes Peter and states that He must drink this cup because it is given by the Father.
Peter was doing what was normal. He was defending his leader. Jesus, in his eyes, was to be the king and He had done nothing wrong. It was within his legal rights to fight back.
Yet, Jesus stops Peter from doing this. In another gospel, it is recorded that Jesus told the disciples to pray to not fall into temptation. Here might have been one of those temptations. Peter was tempted to fight back and not do God’s will.
Jesus had to be arrested and killed. It was all a part of the Father’s plan to save the world.
In life today, there are times things may come up that you want to fight back on. You may have a legal right to fight back. Now, today, fighting back rarely allows for physical violence as Peter did. It usually will allow for taking a person to court or some other method of getting back at them for the wrong done.
Before you fight back, pray about it. Find out if what is happening is a part of God’s plan for your life. There may be a reason you have to go through the problem of being wronged. God may want you to drink that cup of pain and suffering.
The reason for it may be to build you more like Jesus. Or it may be, like with Jesus, to help someone else out become more like Jesus.
Are you willing to accept everything that God gives you? It is easy to accept the good, but what about the painful, hard stuff? Find out what God’s desire is, and follow it. Trust that He knows what is best for you.
I pray today that you will know the will of God in your life; that you will trust the leading of God; that you will accept everything God gives you; that you will not fall into temptation to fight back when it is not God’s desire; and that God will make you more like Jesus everyday.
“Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron scepter. He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:15-16
John sees a rider on a white horse with the name of Faithful and Truth coming out of the clouds in heaven. As he continues to describe the person, he finishes with the statement that he is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus had called Himself the Truth. This is describing Jesus.
In this description, it states that He has a sword coming out of His mouth to strike down the nations. Paul tells you that the Word of God is a sword that you can use. Jesus used it when striking back at the devil when He was tempted in the desert.
God’s Word is living and does not return empty, without fulfilling its purpose. His Word was used to create the heavens and the earth. It will be by His Word that nations are destroyed.
Even today, if a wealthy person commits a crime, and the judge rules that he is guilty, all the money he has cannot change that ruling. Once the ruling is made, it is final. It is by the word of the judge that it is finalized.
The world thinks that it has everything going for it today…money, power, defense and more. None of those things will stand up to the judgment of being guilty before God.
Jesus will rule with an iron scepter. This iron scepter is God’s perfect rule and judgment. There will be no deviation from His Word and requirements allowed.
This shows why He has the name of King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus will rule over everyone, regardless of their position.
It will be better for you to give Jesus that position of being your king, then for Him to have to take that position in judgment. Serve God with all that is in you today, so that you will not have to face His wrath later as He takes rule over you. Give Him the position of Lord of your life.
I pray today that God will reveal His Word to you; that you will give Jesus the position of Lord of your life; that God will strengthen you as you follow Him; that His Word will be real to you; and that you will be a witness to others that Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
“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.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
At the beginning of all creation God spoke a Word and all of creation came into existence. Since then His Word is still alive and active. When a person starts speaking God’s Word things happen. The enemies of God will get angry and nervous because God’s Word has an effect on them. It will cut right to the heart, even though they will deny it. If a person is not speaking God’s Word the world will not care at all, but watch out as soon as you speak His Words.
God’s Word is likened to a sword here. A sharp double-edged sword will cut through everything. God’s Word will also cut through everything. His Word will even cut through the attitudes of the heart. How often do we do something God in the name of God, just to look good to others, to show others how “good” a Christian we are? Many rich people give millions of dollars every year for charity. On the outside it looks good, but many are doing it just for the sake of getting a tax write-off. Their giving to charity is for the wrong reasons and God’s Word will reveal it–remember: we are to do all we do for the glory of God…not ourselves.
Read the Bible every day and you will see it cut to the heart of the matter in every area of your life. Use the Word of God as a measure to see how you are living for God. Even though it was written nearly 2,000 years ago, it is still alive and active. God’s Word knows you right where you are today and how to deal with every situation in your life.
I pray that today God will give you a desire to read His Word more; that God will reveal more of Himself through His Word; that God will reveal any changes in your life that you need to make through His Word; and that God will give you wisdom in correctly using His Word in your life.