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Loving the Truth - The Book of Revelation
Week 29, 2018
This week we continue with Revelation 19:17-21 and the ultimate folly of fallen men to make war against the Lord, and their resulting doom:
Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, "Come, gather together for the great supper of God,
so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great."
Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army.
But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.
The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.
Man’s greatest folly, fighting against God, will end in the ultimate defeat of man’s rebellion. We see this madness with Pharaoh—he witnessed such power from God and then determined that he would fight with God at the Red Sea. How could anyone do this? There is only one answer—the profound and ultimate truth often stated by a former associate of mine: “People are crazy!” From the whole history of man, it seems that this truth has been firmly established. At the end of this age, it is once more ultimately demonstrated.
We also have deception as a main factor at the end of the age, as stated by both the Lord Jesus and His apostles. This was the first thing Jesus warned about when He was asked by His disciples about the signs of the end of the age. The Apostle Paul elaborated on a main root of this deception in II Timothy 4:3-4:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
Every generation has its challenges, but there is a generation emerging that fits all of the biblical scenarios of the last generation, such as the one quoted above. They resolve to only listen to teachers that say what they want to hear, that “tickle their ears” or make them feel good.
Even so, there is hope for this generation. The Lord raised up the greatest prophets in the darkest of times, and so it is in this emerging generation—there are some that are of a radically different spirit. We will discuss these more later, but in general, the millennials quickly went from shutting their ears to any who were not saying what they wanted to hear to viciously attacking anyone who said or thought anything they disagreed with. I have studied history for over half a century and I do not think there has been a generation as deceived, and prone to follow deceivers, like the one now arising.
So what can we do to help them? First, we must never compromise the truth that we have been trusted with. It will not help them to try to assuage their overly sensitive feelings or prejudices. Their only hope is for there to be strong witnesses who are of “a different spirit.” There are uncompromising lovers of the truth and lovers of God, as well as a new generation of radical prophets, arising. Even so, when addressing the “mystery of lawlessness”—who is the leader of the army that would try to fight against God, as addressed above—Paul gives us a clear antidote to falling to his deception in II Thessalonians 2:7-10:
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.
Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;
that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,
and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
The key to not being deceived is to not just have the truth, but to love the truth. If we love the truth, we will want it regardless of whether it makes us feel good, agrees with our opinions or prejudices, brings us glory, or brings us shame. We will love it when it convicts us, challenges us, and shows us where we’re wrong. That is also the nature of the truly wise person, according to Proverbs—they love correction.
next week 30