Revelation Explained

This site contains my personal views on Revelation. I will be teaching through the book verse by verse. My teachings will be from a conservative evangelical background.

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Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Saturday, November 04, 2006

War with the Saints

"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints." (Revelation 13:5-10 -King James Version)

God allows Satan to control the Anti-Christ for forty-two months, the last half of the Tribulation. God allows the Anti-Christ to make war upon the saints and kill them. God allows him to rule over the entire world. God allows it; Satan wants to do these things; and mankind freely follows the commands of the Anti-Christ. Only the saved, and those who will be saved, do not worship the Anti-Christ.

Verse ten has been much debated. There are several different readings among the various Greek texts and none of the readings have strong enough support for us to be certain of the original. However, the major readings contain similar thoughts.

The King James Version carries the idea that God will avenge His children who suffer during the Tribulation. Those who take them captive will become captives. Those who kill them will be killed. This is a direct application of the universal law of sowing and reaping. This law is stated in Galatians 6:7: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall we also reap.”

The New International Version is based upon a different Greek reading and teaches us a different lesson. It reads, “If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.”

This reading deals with accepting God's will. It is not fatalism. It is recognizing that when things happen that we cannot control, we should accept them as part of God's will for our lives. We will be taken captive if God allows. We will be killed if God allows. This teaches us that when difficult times come, we must with patience and faith believe that Romans 8:28 is still true: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

The New American Standard Version is based upon a third reading which combines the thoughts of the other version we have examined. It reads, “If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.”

This reading teaches that if God allows we may be taken captive; we may even be killed. But God will avenge us. Those who do evil will be punished. Most commentaries seem to favor this last reading.


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