YouTuber John Stapleton shares his fourth teaching on the Advent Series.
The Eternal Gospel
Last time, we saw the rise of a demonically empowered government that is backed by a another false prophet who deceived people with miraculous signs and forcing everyone to receive the mark of the beast. It also killed the saints. It was a bleak picture without God. However, the point was that God works behind the scenes. That’s at the forefront today.
The scene opens up with “the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion” (Rev 14:1). The Lamb is the last animal mentioned left standing. He’s also on Mount Zion. Think of Zion as heaven on earth, the place where God is (Heb 12:22). He is surrounded by his Church (though some would argue that the 144,000 are only Israelites), and they are singing to the Lamb “a new song” (Rev 14:3) because God is doing a new thing.
The scene switches from earth to heaven as an angel proclaims “the eternal gospel” (Rev 14:6). The inhabitants of the earth are instructed to “fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water” (Rev 14:7). God is both Creator and Judge. People are to worship God because as the Creator, he has sovereign rights over what he created. He created to life to work the way he alone has designed it. This is a gospel not only of salvation but judgment as well.
CONCLUSION: The Lamb is the last beast to stand. It’s intriguing that the singing comes before the proclamation of the gospel which preludes God’s wrath. Hang on to your joy and hope by singing.
YouTuber John Stapleton shares Part 3 of his Advent series. He opens up and unpacks Revelation 13:11-18 and The Mark Of The Beast. Bringing up topics of government, history, false miracles and deceptions.
1). The Satanic Government (Rev 13:1-4)
The first character that Revelation 13 introduces us to is the Sea Beast. This beast a an absolute parody of the Lion of Judah. It “was like a leopard… its mouth was like a lion’s mouth” (Rev 13:2).
It also mimics the Lamb in worship. The people, blinded by their zeal, ask, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?” (Rev 13:4). This line of praise is stolen verbatim from the exodus story, after God rescued Israel from Egypt: “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11).
Thirdly, it mocks the Lamb by the appearance of power: “To it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority” (Rev 13:2). Again, a similar verse appears earlier in Revelation in reference to the Lamb: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Rev 5:12).
2). Blasphemies Against God (Rev 13:5-8)
The next thing to notice is the blasphemy, the blatant disrespect, irreverence for God. In an intriguing cross-reference, Paul describes the man of lawlessness (also known as the antichrist) as one “who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thess 2:4). Perhaps the blasphemy of the beast is claiming that he himself is god. The point is, that this beast is extremely sacrilegious; the repetition of blasphemy demonstrates the point that this beast hates anyone and everything that is affiliated with God.
3). A Call for the Saints (Rev 13:9-11)
Church and state will never get along. As long as a government does not worship Jesus, we will have trouble. The devil hates God and he hates us; it is not lost on me that even though God placed government over us, these governments often serve Satan, as he uses them to beat up and harass God’s Church. This historically leads to many Christians dying for their faith (like the story we find in Daniel 3).
This “is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints” (Rev 13:10). Faith is confident assurance that God rules and has victory and power over Satan. The idea behind endurance is courageously bearing up under suffering. The point is, death is how we conquer. Dying in faith is actually a victory!
4). The False Prophet (Rev 13:11-18)
The first beast represents godless governments. The second beast here represents the false prophet. Read this passage and you’ll see that he is quite the evangelist for Satan.
“It exercises all the authority of the first beast” (Rev 13:12).
It “makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast” (Rev 13:12).
“It performs great signs” (Rev 13:13).
“It deceives those who dwell on earth” (Rev 13:14).
“It was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast” (Rev 13:15).
It causes “those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain” (Rev 13:15).
“Also it causes all… to be marked… (with) the number of its name” (Rev 13:16-17).
Satan mimics everything God does. It looks like he is winning because of all the evil and because we don’t see God.
I challenge you to consider all the times the text today said that the beast was allowed to something. He was allowed to deceive, allowed to kill the saints, allowed to be powerful – allowed. Nothing, not even the most primal evil, happens apart from God’s permission. God is the only one with true and enduring power!
The King Is Born- John Stapleton brings us into the Christmas season with a deep look into what it’s all about. The focus scripture is Revelation 12:1-6 with references to John, Micah and Daniel.
Notes are available below:
1 – The King Is Born
1) SIGN #1
#1) The Woman we are introduced to in this text is “a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev 12:1). Perhaps the simplest, most widely accepted interpretation is that the woman mirrors God (Ps 104:1-2). She was pregnant with the tribes of Israel, which is why the crown of twelve stars on her head are the 12 tribes of Israel. It’s also interesting to note that this woman stands in direct contrast to the prostitute in Rev 17 that symbolizes Rome.
#2) A Great Red Dragon (Rev 12:3) Satan goes by many names in the Bible. Here, he appears as a dragon (similar to the “scarlet beast” in Rev 12:3). Other times, he is leviathan or a serpent (Is 27:1). But here, this text is cryptically referring to King Herod.
3) The Male Child
#3) Rev 12:4-5 summarizes the life of Jesus and King Herod is the “dragon” who tried to “devour” Jesus when he ordered the death of all boys 2 years old and under in Judea. However, Jesus was taken to Egypt where he was kept safe from Herod. Jesus was ultimately successful in his mission of destroying sin by dying on the cross; he then ascended to sit at God’s right hand of power. He is the true King from Ps 2 who is to rule all nations (see also Matt 2:6).
4) The Woman Is Nourished
#4) Rev 12:6 says that she will be nourished for 1,260 days (Rev 11:3 and 13:5, the number is 42 months, which is the same amount of time). The 42 is always used in context to the Gentiles and 1,260 in context to God’s people.
The big idea behind these numbers is that Israel will be nourished by the ministry of the Church, and by implication, the whole world.
THE GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY
Jesus successfully destroyed sin. After his triumph (Col 2:15) there was war in heaven (that’s next week). But for now, we can be confident that the devil can no longer appear before God and accuse us like he did with Job and Joshua (Job 1:6-12; Zech 3:1). He is a maimed foe whose judgment is pending.
The Bible doesn’t fit in today’s category of social justice. Last time, we talked about systemic oppression. Social justice is the natural outcome of thinking you are oppressed, which is what we are talking about today. There have been two reactions within the Church that have been disappointing.
One response is to “just preach the gospel.” Don’t get involved in all that social justice work. Don’t help people. Just preach at them. The problem is that the gospel we preach has results, you could call this indicatives and imperatives. The fact is that “through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father” (Ephesians 2:18). The implication is that “you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (verse 19).
James illustrates this as he talks about what faith is. There’s no way to show your faith if it is never active. Its fair to assume that a Christian who never helps the needy has a dead faith (read James 2).
The other response is to assume that social justice is biblical justice. (That’s the mistake I made when I shot my first video on socialism.) To be clear, it’s always necessary to define our terms. Social justice is the story of Robbin Hood, where everyone who is rich is bad, ergo we need to reallocate the wealth to those who have less. That’s stealing. Biblical justice is restitution; pay back what you damaged or stole.
Just for fun, let’s look at some of these laws:
If a man has sex with a virgin, he must marry her (22:16-17)
Liars must die (22:19)
You must die if you have sex with an animal (22:19)
You must die if you sacrifice to another god (22:20)
Do not discriminate against a foreigner (22:21)
Don’t mistreat widows and orphans (22:22)
Don’t charge interest when you lend money (22:25)
Return the items you took in a pledge (22:26; c.f. Genesis 38)
Do not disrespect God or the person he appointed to govern you (22:28)
Don’t spread a false report or gang up on someone in court (23:1)
Don’t favor or bully the poor (23:3, 6)
Help your neighbor (23:4, 5)
Don’t kill the innocent or the righteous (23:7)
So, what’s the point behind all these laws? Love each other!
In the words of Paul:
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10)
John Stapleton shares another video on “Why Decolonization doesn’t work.” Addressing Darwinian (CRT – Critical Race Theory) vs Biblical truth. Concluding with Jesus calling out two disciples- Matthew a tax collector and Simon a Zealot.
Christian YouTuber, John Stapleton shares on Systemic Oppression and Systemic Racism. John references the story of Daniel (Daniel 4), Revelation 17 & 18 and Romans 12 in an aim to connect how Christian values come together with political opinions.