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Saturday, 11 November 2017 09:05

89. The beast that comes out of the sea: has a boastful mouth * Revelation 13:2 - PART 4

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2 And the beast that I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority.




*** Mouth like the mouth of a lion ***: Daniel 7:4 described the first beast “like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.” Note that the lion beast has at least one element that the beasts that followed also have: wings (leopard), the ability to stand up (bear), and human characteristics: eyes and a mouth (little horn coming out of the fourth beast). Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome had things in common with Babylon. It’s important to note that Daniel 8 does not mention Babylon, because, at the time of the vision described in Daniel 8, Babylon had already fallen, as we’ve mentioned before.

The night that Babylon fell, Daniel was called to the presence of the king, because the hand of God had left a message on the wall (Daniel 5:1-12). The king had just ordered all the gold and silver cups from the Jerusalem temple to be brought up from storage and to be used in their pagan festivities. While they were in the middle of their party, a hand appeared, writing on the wall. Nobody could understand what was written. None of the king’s magicians, astrologers, or soothsayers could read it. But the queen remembered how Daniel interpreted dreams in the time of Nebuchadnezzar, and so Daniel was brought in to interpret the message. Daniel reminded the king of how God had given everything to his father Nebuchadnezzar and how, as time passed, his heart filled up with pride, to the point where his heart was made like that of an animal, until Nebuchadnezzar was able to recognize that “the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appoints over it whomever he will.” (Daniel 5:21). Then Daniel told the king: “And you his son, O Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this; But have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before you, and you, and your lords, your wives, and your concubines, have drunk wine in them; and you have praised the gods of silver, and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand your breath is, and whose are all your ways, have you not glorified” (Daniel 5:22-23). The message on the wall read: “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN” (Daniel 5:25), which means “God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it. You are weighed in the balances, and are found wanting. Your kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” (Daniel 5:26-28).

Both kings of Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar) had a serious problem of pride. When Nebuchadnezzar boasted on his accomplishments, he became like a wild animal, and spent seven years roaming and grazing, until he recognized the sovereignty of God (Daniel 4:28-37). Nebuchadnezzar’s mental abilities were restored at that point, and he was able to resume his kingly activities. Belshazzar, on the other hand, remained proud and did not give glory to God (Daniel 5:23). Belshazzar misused the items that had been consecrated to God. He used them for his own selfish interests. The mouth of a lion is a proud mouth that boasts, a mouth that proclaims self-righteousness, and that claims to have the authority to change the teachings that were established originally by God Himself. Just like Belshazzar used the cups that belonged to the temple to satisfy his own ego, the mouth of the lion proclaims it’s self-given rights to use God’s vessel with a different content, using it to make all the “inhabitants of the earth [...] drunk with the wine of her fornication” (Revelation 17:2, see also Revelation 17:4). God’s vessel can be understood as His teachings, which are contained in the Bible. Remember that the little horn power had human features and would seek to “alter the times and the law” (Daniel 7:25) contained in the Bible.

*** Gifts from the dragon ***: We saw in our last study how Satan created a falsified version of the Trinity, where he takes the place of the Father and the sea beast takes the place of Jesus. We will see who takes the place of the Holy Spirit later in Revelation 13. The end of Revelation 13:2 says “and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority.” The dragon is imitating the actions of the Father. The Father gave His power, throne, and authority to Christ (Revelation 2:27; Revelation 3:21). The fact that this political-religious figure, symbolized by the sea beast, accepted powers from the dragon makes it evident that they are working together to deceive the world. They both have the same goal (Revelation 12:9; Revelation 17:2).

*** Overview ***: The sea beast exercises its given power by proclaiming boastfully it’s authority to alter spiritual mandates that were established by God Himself and to make decisions on God’s behalf. This behavior is much like that of the lion beast in Daniel 7:4, who stood up as a man (on two feet) and had the mind (or heart) of a man. This is a contrast to what happened to Nebuchadnezzar, a man who was brought down on all fours like a beast and who received the mind of a beast until he could recognize the sovereignty of God. The man who was made into a beast had to give up his ruling authority. On the other hand, the beast who was made into a man claimed its ruling authority. The boastful mouth of the lion indicates that the sea beast does not recognize God as supreme ruler, but rather the dragon, from whom it accepts power, authority an a throne to reign over the inhabitants of the planet. God has revealed this information to us so we are not found among those who are deceived by satanic schemes. We must ask ourselves if the teachings that we are following are contaminated by the poison coming out of the beast’s cup. The false teachings coming out of his cup can get people drunk with beliefs that distract them away from the true message contained in the Bible. If you find yourself believing in doctrines that have been altered by your religious leaders, you must pray for God’s guidance and courage to break with tradition. No one on Earth has powers to change what has been determined by God. Jesus said: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:18).

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