June 8th, 2007
If you believe that God was able to create the universe out of nothing, if you believe that God was able to make the smallest amoeba and the biggest mountain, the smallest atom and the brightest star, then it’s not that hard to believe that God has the power to bring a dead person back to life, or heal a blind person, or change water into wine. But if you did see something like that happen, would it really change your idea of God? If you believe that there is a God, it would simply confirm your belief. If you believe that there is no God, you would be confident that there was a rational non-miraculous explanation for what happened, even if you were unable to provide it immediately…
The Revelation to John — Chapter 13
13:1 I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads. On its horns were ten crowns, and on its heads were names insulting to God. 13:2 The beast which I saw was like a leopard, and its feet were like those of a bear, and its mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave its power, its throne, and great authority to the beast. 13:3 One of its heads appeared to have been fatally wounded. The fatal wound was healed, and the whole earth was amazed by the beast. 13:4 They worshipped the dragon, because it gave its authority to the beast, and they worshipped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who can fight against it?”
13:5 The beast was allowed to boast and blaspheme, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 13:6 It spoke blasphemy against God, insulting his name, and the place where he lives, and everyone who lives in heaven. 13:7 It was given power to fight against the believers, and to defeat them. It was given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation. 13:8 Everyone living on the earth will worship the beast, everyone whose name has not been written since the beginning of creation in the book of life of the Lamb who has been killed. 13:9 Whoever has an ear, should hear. 13:10 Anyone destined to go into captivity will go into captivity. Anyone destined to be killed with the sword must be killed. The believers must endure and be faithful.
13:11 I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but spoke like a dragon. 13:12 It exercised all the authority of the first beast. It made the earth and everyone living on it worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13:13 It performed convincing miracles, even making fire come down out of the sky to the earth while people were watching. 13:14 It deceived people living on the earth with the miracles which it did to promote the first beast, telling people living on the earth to make an idol in honour of the beast who had been fatally wounded by a sword and yet lived.
13:15 It was given the power to bring the idol of the beast to life, so that the idol could speak, and order that anyone who refused to worship the idol must be killed. 13:16 It forced everyone, unimportant or important, rich or poor, free or slave, to be given marks on their right hands, or on their foreheads. 13:17 No-one would be able to buy or to sell, who did not have that mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. 13:18 Wisdom is needed to understand this. The intelligent person should calculate the number of the beast, because it is the number of a man. His number is six hundred and sixty-six.
Entry Filed under: Trust