Revelation 17:8 (NASB)
8 “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.
What is the “beast” going to do when he “comes up out of the abyss”? Will he limit his activity to one human being who presents himself to the world as its “savior” (as the Islamist version of al-Mahdi so prophesies)? Will his “coming up out of the abyss” be a one-day event followed by his succinct judgment in the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20)?
The scarlet beast of Revelation 17 is the “apex,” the “high point,” the “epitome” of a worldwide darkness that enables him to rise from his abyss in the first place. The darkness of the world is what opens the door for him; but remember, darkness is only the absence of light; remove the Light (John 12:46), and Darkness fills the void. It is the darkness of the world that allows the Dark One to rise up, to eventually gain dominion over a world already gone dark.
The darkness is because society has removed God, has abandoned His church, and has lost its moral footing, its foundation upon which right and wrong are built. At some point in the life of James Holmes, he lost his “sight.” He became spiritually blind because he closed out the light. We might say that he was “given over” (Romans 1:28-32) to the darkness that he had opened his life to.
Luke 11:34-35 (NASB) 34 “The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 “Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness.
The media and their experts will help us with our children’s fears. “Tell your children that their fears are normal (and they are); this is an isolated event and not likely to occur at their school, or their neighborhood swimming pool, or the movie theater.” Yet, our children play video games that make Aurora look like a picnic at the park on a sunny day. How can it be “isolated” when our children (and their parents) see violent behavior as entertaining? And, we all know that it is only a matter of time before it occurs again. Think about it: why did James Holmes choose to play the part of the evil “Joker” who avenges rather than Batman, the savior of his world?
It is the Dark One. He is ever more present in the minds and hearts of the world we live in; and, the trend is only going one way — towards the dark. Will the trend continue as we move into the end-times? Consider this verse:
Revelation 13:7-8 (NASB)
7 It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.
Notice verse 8: “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, …” If the whole earth worships him it is because the whole earth has chosen him over the only Begotten One, …, over a time. That is a trend. It does not happen in one day. The world has gone dark when the beast arises. Remove the Light, and darkness rises, it fills the void. This is why the text specifically states that those who do not worship the beast are those whose names are in the “book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.” Only Christians do not worship him; because the world has gone dark except for those who have the Light in themselves. When the world goes dark, the Dark one rises; and destruction is the fruit of his presence in the world. Sheer evil is the smell of his breath.It is the smell of death. It is not mental illness. I is satan’s hand around the throat of humanity, one “weak one” at a time (John 10:12):
2 Thessalonians 2:3 (NASB)
3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
Revelation 9:11 (NASB)
11 They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon [that is, “destruction“], and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.
Zephaniah 1:15 (NASB)
15 A day of wrath is that day, A day of trouble and distress, A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness,
Matthew 24:12-13 (NASB)
12 “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
But what do we do? What does the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ do?
Luke 21:34-36 (NASB)
34 “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; 35 for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. 36 “But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
It would be “nice” to tell one another that Aurora is an isolated incident. But we know it is not. Our “experts” will tell us that if we only had stronger gun control laws, these things would not happen. They will tell us to increase our security at the movies, or the pool, or the school, and that will do it. In fact, they will tell us that if the movie theatre had more security these things would not happen. Do you believe that? It seems to me that evil always find its way to destroy because that is its nature. In the end-times, evil will have its way because we have turned the Light out! Mostly, anyway.
Difficult days are ahead; but we must pray the protection of God’s Holy Spirit upon one another. Prayer is God’s invention. He has chosen to “obligate” Himself through prayer (see E.M. Bounds and his many works on prayer). We must “ask” to receive. Matthew 7:7. We must ask God to revive His people’s heart to pray that we might be strengthened for the difficult days ahead. It is in prayer that we are made alert and strengthened for the days that are coming.
Blessings to all, and remembering that God is in control and He walks with us in difficult times.