Series Code: ICJ
Program Code: ICJ190012A
00:01 The apostle Paul says in his love chapter
00:03 that love never fails.
00:06 That love does not rejoice in iniquity,
00:11 but rejoices in the truth.
00:14 And the book of Revelation is the revelation of Jesus.
00:17 And He always tells the truth.
00:43 You know, it's not easy to tell the truth,
00:45 but the truth is part of love.
00:47 Some people have the idea that, you know,
00:49 love never hurts anybody's feelings,
00:51 and Jesus is so nice He would never hurt anybody's feelings.
00:54 Well Jesus is nice, but He does tell the truth.
00:58 And I'd rather know the truth than to be led astray.
01:03 You remember John the Baptist as he was preaching,
01:06 and Scripture tells about how he called people to repentance;
01:11 preparing the way for Jesus.
01:13 And the leaders of Israel came out to him,
01:16 and he said some pretty tough things.
01:19 He actually called them at one time a brood of vipers,
01:23 a brood of snakes.
01:25 Do you think that John the Baptist loved them?
01:29 I think he loved them.
01:30 I think he was just telling them the truth.
01:33 He told Herod the truth.
01:35 You know, love never fails.
01:37 Herod needed to hear the truth,
01:39 but it cost John the Baptist his life.
01:44 But love never fails.
01:46 Because love loves the truth,
01:49 and it despises iniquity.
01:52 Today's subject is, The Beast From the Sea.
01:57 It's not an easy subject,
02:00 because sometimes it can be so misunderstood.
02:02 But we really want to say this, that this isn't about
02:06 any one person, per se.
02:10 It's about the truth as it is in Jesus.
02:15 And so we want to go to the subject in Revelation 13
02:20 and we're going to look at this beast that rises from the sea.
02:25 To give a little background here before we get started there,
02:30 Revelation 1:1-3 says, "The revelation of Jesus Christ,
02:35 which He gave to show His servants,
02:38 things which must shortly take place."
02:41 In other words, these things are going to start
02:43 in John's day and they were going to go all the way
02:46 to the coming of Jesus as pictured in the last chapter
02:50 of the book of Revelation.
02:51 It's going to cover Christian history.
02:53 So this isn't just one point in time,
02:56 it's covering all of Christian history.
02:59 And he goes on to say, "And He sent and
03:03 signified it by His angel..."
03:05 Now that word, "signified," is very important.
03:07 It means, a mark, a sign, a token.
03:11 For instance, the same word is used when Jesus said
03:15 this about Jonah, Luke 11:30, "For as Jonah became a sign
03:20 to the Ninevites..."
03:21 In other words, he became a symbol to the
03:24 Ninevites of a reality.
03:26 In Luke 21:11, Jesus said in the end of time there will be
03:30 fearful sights and great signs from heaven.
03:34 In other words, a mark, token, sign, symbols.
03:40 John also tells us right there in the first book of
03:42 Revelation, "Blessed is he who reads and hears
03:46 the words of this prophecy, and keep those things
03:49 that are in it, for the time is near."
03:55 These visions of John were signs and symbols
03:57 to help us to understand the realities of what was happening
04:01 through Christian history and what will happen
04:03 in the end of time.
04:06 Now going to Revelation 13:1, we hear these words,
04:11 "Now the beast which I saw was like a Leopard,
04:15 and his feet were like the feet of a bear,
04:18 and his mouth like the mouth of a lion.
04:21 And the dragon gave him his power, his throne,
04:25 and great authority."
04:27 So you cannot understand this leopard beast
04:30 unless you first of all understand who the dragon is.
04:34 Now this is not rocket science again.
04:35 You don't have to be ten PhD's to get this.
04:40 Most anybody can get it.
04:42 And the information is right there in the text itself.
04:46 So we have to take another look at this great red dragon
04:49 that we found in Revelation chapter 12.
04:52 It was in Revelation chapter 12 that we get the picture of
04:54 the woman, the wonderful woman that's clothed with
04:58 the lights of heaven.
04:59 And the Scripture says this in verses 1-3,
05:02 chapter 12 verses 1-3, "Now a great sign..."
05:06 There's that word gain. A symbol, token.
05:09 "...sign appeared in heaven:
05:12 a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet,
05:15 and on her head a garland of twelve stars.
05:19 And then being with child, she cried out in labor
05:21 with pain to give birth.
05:24 And another sign appeared..."
05:26 There's that word again.
05:27 "...another sign appeared in heaven:
05:31 behold, a great, fiery red dragon with seven heads
05:36 and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads."
05:39 Now the question is, who is this woman?
05:42 And we've already talked about that in an earlier talk.
05:46 This is God's church.
05:48 It's His faithful church.
05:50 And this great red dragon really hates her.
05:54 Really hates her.
05:56 He really hates that child because
05:57 he's threatened by that child.
06:00 That child, of course, is Jesus.
06:01 The church gave birth to Jesus, in a sense.
06:04 And He's taken up to heaven and He escapes, if you please,
06:08 the great red dragon who wanted to kill Him.
06:12 So the dragon becomes then enraged with the woman,
06:15 who is the church.
06:17 God's church, the church of Christ, of you please.
06:20 Revelation 12 goes on in verse 7-9 to tell us
06:25 who this great red dragon is.
06:27 "And war broken out in heaven."
06:29 We talked about this war between Christ and Satan.
06:32 "Michael and His angels fought with the dragon,
06:34 and the dragon and his angels fought,
06:36 but they did not prevail..."
06:38 And then it says, "So the great dragon was cast out,
06:41 that old serpent called the Devil and Satan,
06:46 who deceives the whole world.
06:48 He was cast to the earth and his angels were cast out with him."
06:51 So there's no doubt about who this great red dragon is.
06:54 This great red dragon is none other than Satan.
06:58 And he has, of course, these seven heads and ten horns
07:02 representing his journey through Christian era,
07:06 and opposing Christ and continuing this battle.
07:10 But this battle, this controversy between
07:12 Christ and Satan, is no longer being fought in heaven.
07:16 It's being fought on the earth.
07:18 And that's what the book of Revelation is telling us.
07:21 And Jesus is saying, as He reveals Himself,
07:23 "I want you to know what's going on between
07:26 Me and My great adversary, and your adversary.
07:31 I want to tell you what's going on."
07:34 So the book of Revelation, using these symbols,
07:37 helps us to understand what the real issues are here.
07:41 So let's talk about this for just a moment.
07:44 Jesus is in the heavenly Sanctuary, and He's unseen.
07:49 But Jesus does operate on the earth.
07:53 Through the agency of the Holy Spirit, of course.
07:55 But He also operates through His human agent.
07:59 Who is His human agent on the earth?
08:02 It's the woman.
08:04 It's the church.
08:06 It's His church.
08:08 So even though Jesus is unseen, He does operate
08:12 through His visible agency.
08:15 Satan also, who operates here on the earth,
08:19 he is also unseen to us.
08:22 But he also operates through a visible agency.
08:27 So the question is, who is the visible agency for Satan?
08:32 Who is his agency?
08:34 Well, let's just ask the question.
08:36 Who crucified Jesus?
08:39 Well it was pagan Rome.
08:42 Pontius Pilate was a pagan governor of the Roman Empire.
08:47 And so Satan works through, at least his agency
08:51 here in the New Testament, is Rome,
08:55 this great pagan empire.
08:58 And he has persecuted the church through pagan Rome.
09:01 Everybody knows how pagan Rome took Christians,
09:07 burned them in the arenas, threw them to lions.
09:11 It's horrible, you don't even think about it.
09:13 They were so cruel and so horrible
09:16 in their treatment of Christians.
09:18 Even in the seven churches Jesus predicted they would have
09:21 ten years of terrible persecution.
09:24 And they tried everything they could to destroy
09:28 the Christian church.
09:30 Well who was behind that?
09:31 That was Satan.
09:33 That was the great red dragon.
09:34 But Rome was the visible agency that was trying
09:39 to destroy the church.
09:41 So the question is, was Rome able to destroy the church?
09:46 The persecutor of the church.
09:48 Did it win in its efforts to destroy the woman?
09:51 And the answer to that is no. It lost.
09:55 Rome, pagan Rome, lost.
09:58 But the devil is still alive even though he lost
10:02 the first round.
10:04 There's a lot of human history and Christian history
10:07 yet to go through.
10:09 The devil is still alive, the church is still alive,
10:13 and he, the Bible is very clear that he persecutes the church
10:16 all the way to the end of time.
10:21 All the way to the end of time.
10:27 And this book of Revelation is telling us the truth
10:29 about this persecuting power of the great red dragon.
10:34 Now the leopard beast appears also with seven heads
10:38 and ten horns.
10:39 So the great red dragon has seven heads and ten horns,
10:42 the leopard beast has seven heads and ten horns,
10:45 and the scarlet beast of Revelation chapter 17
10:48 has seven heads and ten horns.
10:51 This is basically the same power, but it comes in
10:54 three different phases.
10:57 And we'll talk about Revelation 17 at another time,
11:00 and that scarlet beast.
11:02 We've already talked about the great red dragon
11:05 with seven heads and ten horns.
11:07 And now we're going to talk about the leopard beast
11:09 with seven heads and ten horns,
11:11 because this is a new phase of great pagan Rome.
11:17 So let's take a look at this.
11:19 Even though they come in three different colors,
11:21 it's three phases of the same persecuting power.
11:26 Now the text is clear.
11:29 The text says that the great red dragon,
11:32 or pagan Rome, does several things for this leopard
11:36 seven headed beast.
11:40 And it gives him his seat, his power, and great authority.
11:48 So since pagan Rome gives the leopard beast its throne,
11:53 it means that the leopard beast comes after pagan Rome.
12:00 So this next phase of the leopard beast
12:04 comes after pagan Rome.
12:07 And since pagan Rome is found in history,
12:11 then the leopard beast must also be found in history.
12:19 And we are going to find that this next phase,
12:22 this leopard beast comes on the heels
12:26 of pagan Rome that begins to disappear
12:30 under the attack of the barbarians as they move in.
12:35 You know, God has a way of punishing those
12:38 who hurt His people.
12:41 We don't have time to get into the seven trumpets,
12:43 but the seven trumpets show God's judgments
12:46 against those forces that hurt His people.
12:50 So since pagan Rome is found in history,
12:53 then the leopard beast is going to be found in history
12:56 coming on the heels of great pagan Rome.
13:01 Whatever this next phase is, it's going to receive its seat,
13:06 its power, and authority from the ancient Roman Empire.
13:11 So in this transfer, there is a close connection
13:16 between pagan Rome and this new leopard power
13:22 that comes up.
13:24 And this leopard power does the same thing,
13:28 the same kind of things that the great red dragon,
13:32 pagan Rome, did to the Christians.
13:34 But it's a different phase. It's a different picture.
13:39 And in the next few minutes we're going to show you
13:42 how this great leopard beast fulfills this next phase
13:49 of persecuting God's people.