I attended First Methodist Church on Sunday morning, July 31, with my friend, former Tulsa District Attorney Tim Harris.
Tim invited me to attend his Sunday School class where Dale Dyer was teaching on Revelation. Dyer gave a brief review of the first 11 chapters of Revelation and then launched into Chapter 12-14. That is a lot to handle in a 40-45 minute time frame.
However, I was enthralled with the simplicity and yet comprehensive nature of the teaching. I quickly became aware with thoughts of how the book of Revelation brings forth the issues of the end times and how that relates to what is happening in the world.
Brexit, ISIS, the Middle Eastern issue, immigration issues, oil prices and world control and manipulation of the energy markets, the rise and fall of the stock markets – and the presidential race that harbors candidates that virtually no one trusts. Yet, we will be saddled one of the two candidates that may or may not be able to help the situation.
In that Sunday School class, I learned further that Chapter 12 of Revelation tells us “why in the world” we are continually in difficult situations.
The Dragon, also called, Satan, the devil, the serpent, had been cast down to Earth after a battle with Michael the Archangel and the rest of God’s Angels. Satan wanted to take control of Heaven but was utterly defeated and was banished to earth as his punishment.
Now, as a resident of Earth, he and his angels (demons) are continually playing the part of trying to take us humans down the wrong paths of life. He was cast down to the Earth to inhabit it and have, essentially, free reign to be the accuser and have great influence upon the men and women of the earth – including we Christians.
Dyer believes that Chapter 12 is a pause in Revelation about the end times and tells us “why we are in this situation in the first place.”
Wise men see the dangers but still battle to defeat the influence upon their own minds, morals and influence in the world controlled by the one who was “cast down” to earth with his angels.
John, the author of Revelation, then resumes the progression of the end times by moving into Chapter 13.
We see the dangers of Chapter 12 yet we find that in chapter 13 of Revelation we are really put to the test. John tells us that the “Dragon” will bring forth the “Beast out of the Sea” and the “Beast out of the Earth” that will wield great control over the world. We, as Christians, will have choices to make on “whom we will follow.”
That choice will have immediate life and death consequences. If we do not bow down to the image of the Beast, we will be targeted for immediate death.
For most of us, that would be the lessor of the two evils but the John calls us to “patient endurance, faithfulness and wisdom” in the midst of all this.
However, Chapter 14 brings forth the fact that those who follow the Beast end up eating crow and suffering grave and devastating consequences.
They will face judgment at the hand of the God of righteous judgment. The Harvest of the Earth is to take place and the separation of the “wheat and tares,” the “sheep and goats” and the “good grapes and bad” will take place.
That is a lot to handle in 40-45 minutes and my mind was abuzz with thoughts of: “How do we see the dangers of the immediate and near future of our country and this world, the end times?”
Wise men see the dangers; a fool goes his merry way…