From Revelation 13-16
In today’s post John captures a couple ideas about Jesus blood spilling and death by describing the book of life in this way.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
The battle continues between the dragon and God’s people. Another beast appears. I don’t know who it is, but it is trouble.
13 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. 2 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. 3 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. (Rev 13.1-3)
The symbols and numbers associated with the beast suggest it has power and authority. It is given power from the dragon. So it has demonic backing. The reference to the mortal wound is interesting. It is similar to the lamb who was slain. However this beast is nothing like Jesus. More of a joke. Still the earth marvels at it.
4 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?” 5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. (Rev 13.4-5)
‘Who can fight against it?’ Well, listeners of John’s vision so far will be encouraged by the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb that was slain. I suspect either of those will be able to. None the less the beast ‘was allowed’ to exercise authority. I suggest the Sovereign Lord permitted it for a time.
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. (Rev 13.6-8)
God’s people will suffer. The beast ‘was allowed’ to make war on the saints and conquer them. This would not seem encouraging at the time. But John speaks of judgment by speaking about predestination.
Before the foundation of time people’s names were written in the book of life. This book is specifically Jesus’ It is the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. The people in this book are believers, saints, Christians. The symbolism suggests that Jesus’ death on the cross was the means by which God granted them eternal life.
But John actually says everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world. What will happen to them? They are slain. Judgment. The beast is allowed to make war on the saints and conquer them. But ultimately those who are not in Jesus’ good book are killed. John implies double predestination.
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. (Rev 13.9-10a)
This is what will happen to the saints.
Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints. (Rev 13.10b)
John captures a couple ideas about Jesus blood spilling and death by describing the book of life in this way.
First Jesus death has granted us eternal life. Before the foundation of the world God chose us to spend eternal life with him. God’s plan and choice was implemented through Jesus blood. What an awesome gift.
Second, the book is identified by the Lamb who was slain. So are the people. Our Lord was crucified. Nothing to be ashamed about. He died for us.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights