Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Revelation 13:9-10

I was just reading a chapter in Hal Lindsey’s book, “Vanished Into Thin Air: The Hope Of Every Believer,” and I came upon a section in Chapter 12 that caused me to take pause.  Here is what I read:

“If anyone has an ear, let him hear.  If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed.  Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.  In 13:9 the formula is given to alert Tribulation believers to hear and take heed to the life and death instructions to them of 13:10.  In verse 10, believers of that period are instructed not to resist being taken captive for their faith by the Antichrist, nor are they to resist with weapons.  If they use weapons, God says that they will be killed by them.”

That caused me to stop and ponder what I had just read.  I decided to go to the word of God and read this portion of scripture in context.  When I did, it seemed to agree with Mr. Lindsey’s interpretation.  But then I searched for the scripture reference and headed over to Jeremiah.  Here is what I found:

Jeremiah 15:1-6 “Then the LORD said to me, “Even though Moses and Samuel were to stand before Me, My heart would not be with this people; send them away from My presence and let them go!

2“And it shall be that when they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you are to tell them, ‘Thus says the LORD:
  “Those destined for death, to death;
  And those destined for the sword, to the sword;
  And those destined for famine, to famine;
  And those destined for captivity, to captivity.”’

3“I will appoint over them four kinds of doom,” declares the LORD: “the sword to slay, the dogs to drag off, and the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy.4“I will make them an object of horror among all the kingdoms of the earth because of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem.

5“Indeed, who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem,
  Or who will mourn for you,
  Or who will turn aside to ask about your welfare?

6“You who have forsaken Me,” declares the LORD,
  “You keep going backward.
  So I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you;
  I am tired of relenting!”

The Lord continues, but I think you get the gist of what is going on here.  As you can see, God is about to punish the nation of Israel for her disobedience.  In Revelation 13:10, God refers back to this particular portion of scripture found in Jeremiah, although it's not verbatim.  Given the meaning of it’s original use in Jeremiah, how can the scripture reference in Revelation be interpreted to mean what Mr. Lindsey claims?  How can scripture that was applied as punishment of God’s chosen people be then used as an instruction to go peacefully into captivity and not to defend ourselves against the Antichrist?  I had to ask myself, who in this particular portion of Revelation 13 is being punished?  It must be the Antichrist and those who follow him.

Let’s look at this again:

“If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes;”
Those destined for captivity (Satan, the Antichrist, the False Prophet and those who are destined for hell for worshiping the beast and/or receiving his mark), will go into captivity.  (Or you could say that those who led others into captivity, will themselves go into captivity.)

“if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed.”
Those who go about murdering the saints and others during this time, will themselves receive their just reward by losing their own lives.

“Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.”
Until this happens, patience and faith of the saints must be tried.

So as I view this scripture, I see it NOT as being called to be submissive to the Antichrist and his authority, but as being an encouragement that no matter what Christians may go through during the Tribulation, those who are destined for captivity will go, and those who kill by the sword will themselves perish, and Tribulation saints need to persevere and keep their faith during this time of Tribulation.

I would really welcome your thoughts on this.  Please leave your comments below.  God bless. 

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