Book of Revelation 4 Frogs

Book of Revelation

One - most loved / hated books.

Scares the pants off.

Paint false picture - trusting Him. - Slaughters?!


Last Week

Talked about Jesus and his apparent use of violence. And how when read correctly, it shows the exact opposite. It shows a God who defeats the empires of deception that keep people in bondage.

He slays lies in order to free the people. He doesn’t slaughter the people.

The armies of God

The Final War

You see that God’ doesn’t shed the blood of people, rather it’s his blood that’s shed because of his great love for people.

The Winepress

Blood 5 feet high for 180 miles.

And it’s his followers blood that’s shed because of their commitment to follow him.

But God doesn’t do the slaughtering.

Encourage you to listen to the podcast, or get the CD.

Last week I told you that I had two more weeks, this one and then a Q&A session and then we’ll be done.

I’ve changed my mind.

Add 1 week after the Q&A which will basically be a wrap-up.

Tonight: Frogs.

Tonight: I wanna talk about Frogs.

Not as intense - A little more relaxed than last week.

I’ve had the opportunity to talk to a lot of different people about the series and their questions on revelation.

And more than once people have basically asked: does any of this apply to the modern times and the issues that the world is currently facing.

  • Not a crystal ball through which you can see see
  • Not as a code to be deciphered in order to reveal geo-political events of the 21st century.

But there IS a strong warning for us today, comes in the form of frogs.

Armageddon

Revelation 16

And I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs leap from the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. (Revelation 16:13)

They are demonic spirits who work miracles and go out to all the rulers of the world to gather them for battle. (Revelation 16:14)

And the demonic spirits gathered all the rulers and their armies to a place with the Hebrew name Armageddon. (Revelation 16:16)

The bible uses the word Armageddon once. Right here.

Yet few words from revelation - captured the popular imagination more than armageddon.

Hebrew word. - Means : “valley of megiddo” (Picture)

It’s in northern israel.

One of the places you go if you go on a tour of the holy land. If you were to ever go on one, you’ll likely go here.

  • Ancient town.
  • Just ruins now
  • Looks like it’s on the top of a hill. Sorta true.
  • Actually, Megiddo was a town in this valley.
  • "Valley of megiddo", or ‘Armageddon’.

What’s interesting about this city: it was built and destroyed 26 times.

Basically they’re just rebuild on the rubble of the previous city, over time, it looks like a big hill.

A “tell” : “a hill created by many generations of people living and rebuilding on the same spot.”

Reason megiddo was built and destroyed, built and destroyed, build and destroyed. - 26 times. Was because of wars.

Megiddo situated where various armies from the north - assyia, babylon, and armies from the south, egypt, would be traveling back and forth - unfortunately poor megiddo found itself in the way of these kinds of armies.

Rich Geologically - 26 layers of civilization.

The word “armageddon” “valley of megiddo” would be instantly identified (as a first century jew) as a place of battles and wars.

BUT in popular imagination today, armageddon has become the idea of the final and inevitable bloody war at the end of time.

An idea: used and abused by the popular misinterpreters of revelation.

To hear them tell it: “The world is being drawn to in inevitable, unpreventable, and horrific war."

“There must be this war” is what they’ll tell us.

B/C it’s in the bible, it HAS to occur.

Because people believe that, when we read about a war, esp a war in the middle east, which is not an uncommon occurrence. They’re prone to secretly celebrate.

The idea: we’ve gotten have this big FREAKIN war, then Jesus is gonna come back.

There’s some segments of Christianity that watch the news anticipating destruction. Hopefully they’d hide it a little. Maybe not.

Let me suggest: Those who anxiously anticipate war, make terrible peacemakers. You can’t be a peacemaker and secretly long for war. You have to choose one.

Series : Revelation

We’re in a series about the book of revelation, trying to rescue revelation from horrible misinterpretations.

Revelation is not a crystal ball in which we see: geo-political events of the 21st century.

It’s just not.

While there is SOME about the future, primarily : Revealing of the character of Jesus Christ. And an encouragement to Christians who are about the become martyrs.

EVERYTHING is symbol.

Apocolyptic literature

Lamb - 7 eyes, 7 horns.

  • Jesus doesn’t have 7 eyes, but he does have perfect wisdom.
  • Jesus doesn’t have 7 horns, but he does have perfect power.

That doesn’t mean it’s not true, it’s all true. But it’s not to be applied literally. I’m not looking for a monster with 7 heads to come out of the ocean. But I AM looking for what that symbolizes.

One of the reason these symbols seem so mysterious to us: We’re 2000 years removed from their context.

Political cartoon.

Written to these 7 churches.

True - every book - bible:

Primary meaning book - meaning - original audience.

The book applies to us, just like all books of the bible.

Secondary audience.


We are followers of the Lamb.

1st Scene in this vision - Trying to understand character of God.

"Ferocious Lion!" - Slain little lamb.

"Follow the lamb wherever he goes"

We’re looking for God’s new kingdom.

“THY KINGDOM COME”.

Not looking - another armageddon.

There’s always another armageddon.

But as a follower of the lamb, that’s not what I want.

Opposite

Armageddon is only inevitable if we follow the frogs and not the lamb.

And the demonic spirits gathered all the rulers and their armies to a place with the Hebrew name Armageddon. (Revelation 16:16)

John has this vision, remember, theres the dragon, the beast, the false prophet - frog coming out of each of their mouths.

Demonic spirits.

And what do they do?

Deceive rulers - that have armies.

Political leaders / military leaders,

Under the spell of the dragon, these “rulers” and “their armies” lead the world to: armageddon.

  • Herishima
  • Normandy
  • Vietnam
  • Pearl Harbor
  • Auscwitz

That’s how the readers of the early NT church would have read this.

Immediately they would have understood these leaders taking them to a place of bloodshed and war.

Here’s my point: John is not prophesying that this will happen, he’s warning us to not let this happen.

It’s only an inevitability when the leaders of the world are influenced by the frogs - the demonic spirits and the people follow those people.

Good news: But it doesn’t have to be that way.

It’s only inevitable if we don’t follow the lamb.

Character definitions

Dragon

Devil, he says so. - Ch 12

Babylon

Rome & all ‘empires of the world’.

Beast

Violence of babylon. - AKA Rome - Revelation 17

Particularly the violence of Rome personified by Roman Emperor Nero Cesar.

That’s what 666 means.

“Gematria” - Ge-maht-ria - “System of numerology that assigns a numerical value to a word or phrase”

Greek spelling “Nero Cesar” - assign the numbers they had - get 666.

Interestingly - Latin spelling - "Nero Caesar" - 616. In some manuscripts of the bible, it says 616, not 666.

The Prostitute

Whore - babylon

The immorality of Babylon.

False prophet AKA ‘the other beast’

Convinces people - worship 1st beast (NERO)

Forces - get beasts mark (666) - right hands & foreheads.

Good time to tell you: - This rising cult that worshiped the emperor (Nero) as a living God.

Priests dedicated to that

Prophets, false prophets.

These were people who rallied people around a dangerous lie.

Nero was God.

For us, it symbolizes:

The voices that rally people around dangerous lies.

Happen over and over throughout distory.


How were Hitler and the naziis able to lead a Christian nation - the holocaust?

NOT A CHRISTIAN NATION!!!

It really was!

Census in 1939

54% Nazi Germany - Protestant

40% Catholic

94% of nazi germany professed to follow Christ.

(Nazi beltbuckle) - "Gott Mit Uns" - "God is With Us."

They were very skilled in this whole false prophet thing.

Ability - rally people - dangerous lie.

Why did Germany invade Poland?

“Uh because Hitler was a lunatic obsessed with conquering the world. That’s where he started.”

Correct. But that’s not what he said. He said we have to protect the german people who are people persecuted in there! Partially true. Mostly dangerous lie.


All around us - the frogs that rally us around dangerous lies.

So when you hear lies like:

  • All muslims are terrorists
  • All jews are greedy
  • My country, right or wrong.

Revelation language: Hearing the lies spew from the demonic frogs that live in the mouth of the beast.

When we listen to them, we can be confident that we end up in armageddon.

  • Aushwitz
  • Herishima
  • Whatever comes next.

“Let the world retain in memory That mighty tongues tell mighty lies And if mankind must have an enemy Let it be his warlike pride.” (Bruce Cockburn - It's Going Down Slow)


So when I hear Christians saying “Hurray for another armageddon."

Remind myself - armageddon comes from following the frogs.

We don’t follow frogs. We follow a lamb.

We can’t follow both. The frogs know the way to armageddon. The lamb knows the way to “Thy Kingdom Come”.


As I close: I want to be REALLY clear.

There doesn’t have to be war for Jesus to return.

“Russia’s gotta invade israel for Jesus to come back" No they don't.

“Yes, it’s prophesied!” No it’s not. It’s warned against.

Jesus is going to come back, but he doesn’t need war.

  • That’s not what I’m hoping for.
  • That’s not what I’m supporting.

Jesus is not in the business of leading nations to war.

You don’t want to get God and the devil mixed up. You wanna get those two straightened out.

The devil’s business : Seeking, killing, destroying.

Not Jesus’s business and it’s not our business.


Our business: be peacemakers.

Blessed are the peacemakers.

For THEY shall be called sons & daughters of God.

Not - blessed - Suspicious

For they shall detect who’s working - antiChrist.

Why would peacemakers be recognized as sons and daughters of God? B/C they’re about their fathers business. His business - bring peace to the nations.


There’s precious Christians in the world today.

WANT Jesus to come

So they think: I guess I need to awaiting WAR in the middle east. No.

There doesn’t have to be war for Jesus to return.

People do the same thing w/earthquakes

Jesus indicated there would be earthquakes, famine leading up to the destruction of Jerusalam. Which happened.

But people want to make that about us.

Now Christians are the only people on earth that we see famine and earthquakes on TV:

Of course it’s the last days! It’s been the last days for 2000 years.

Dear children, this is the last hour; (1 John 2:18)


You can be waiting, “Come Lord Jesus”

Not watching the news waiting for armageddon. Doesn’t need to happen.


(Band)

So what are you like a hippie, who thinks the world is just gonna all get along? No, but I believe we should be heading in that direction.

We see what God’s coming kingdom will look like, and strive to live that now.

Won't be bitterness - God's new kingdom - get rid - now. Jealousy. Suffering.


I imagine when you’re standing in front of him someday and he’ll say something like this “I noticed with everything you had, you were walking towards a my new kingdom”

Well done good and faithful servant.

You lived: ‘thy kingdom come’.

OR You:

“Read bible / End times charts / Secretly looked forward - wars and famine."

“Why didn’t you just feed somebody?!” - Why didn’t you work for peace? My business. Why were you hoping for the devils business to be done?

The book of revelation warns:

The book of revelation warns: War is only inevitable when we follow the beast instead of the lamb.

When we believe the voices of the frogs leading us to war.

We don’t follow frogs, we follow a lamb.

Who lays down his life.


Close - Communion

Turn your attention- God who sheds his own blood for his love for you.

Wherever you are in your journey.

He wants - Win your heart - beauty - love.

Part of being people who follow the lamb.

Returning to him to get your strength.

Spend a minute - In your heart:

Be honest

Invite him in

"I trust you."

Invitation:

This is the Table, not of the church, but of the Lord.
It is made ready for those who love Him and for those who want to love Him more. So come,
You who have much faith and you who have little,
You who have been here often and you who have not been here long,
You who have tried to follow and you who have failed.
Come, because it is the Lord who invites you.
It is His will that those who want Him should meet Him here.
Come to the Table.

Take a minute - take communion - own time.