(17.12) And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
1. Daniel refers to ten horns in Daniel chapters 7 and 8. This verse and those two chapters are likely referring to the same kings, but who is referred to? Most Bible commentators used to think that the European Common Market countries would fulfill this verse, or that they would comprise the ten nations, which make fulfillment possible.
2. John’s statement suggests that the ten horns of the beast actually represent ten kings. However, again, who are these ten kings? They were unknown to John, having “received no kingdom as yet.” Apparently, they will rule at sometime in the future, presumably during the tribulation period John’s revelation is now opening before us, but only for a short time. I take the reference to “one hour” to be symbolism for a short period. Could it be that they exercise authority during the first half of the seven years of tribulation, but throw in with the anti-Christ and submit to him during the last 3 ½ years?
3. My friend, Dr. Ken Connelly, makes a good point when he suggests that since Daniel’s prophesy features a figure with two legs and feet of iron mingled with clay representing the end time empire, it might be wise to consider that the antichrist’s political regime would be comprised of an eastern and a western region. This is something the student of God’s Word should keep an eye open for.
4. Is it any surprise in light of the great schism of 1054 A. D. that divided the Roman Catholic Church in the west from the Eastern Orthodox Church that the early Reformers connected this prophecy about the ten kings and the antichrist to the pope and the Church of Rome? I think the early Reformers were wrong in their understanding of prophetical things, but I certainly see why they made the popes or the Catholic Church the antichrist.
These have one
mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
1. Unity among political kingpins? Strange is not it. But then, enemies often do unite in their opposition to God.
2. It is amazing how frequently this cycle is repeated. Herod and Pontius Pilate were enemies. The Pharisees, Sadducees, and Herodians were enemies. However, all of these united to crucify the Son of God.
3. It really ought to warm the heart of every Christian worker or pastor to see folks who do not like each other and who are never united in anything except in their opposition to the one who seeks to do God’s will, no matter who that one might be.
4. People who do not see such alliances develop are spiritually naive. Folks who do see such alliances and who actively support them, or support them by not condemning them, are showing their true colors . . . are they not?
5. As Jesus once said, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” There is no neutral ground in Christianity. The strong and bright light of Biblical truth makes all things either black or white.
(17.14) These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
1. What insanity it is to think of the antichrist and his allies making war against the Lamb of God. They cannot possibly win this war. The Lamb shall overcome them because it is not possible for Him to suffer defeat of any kind.
2. It is not possible for the Lord of lords to be defeated and have Satan reign as lord over Him. Moreover, it is not possible for the King of kings to have another rule over Him as king. It simply is not possible.
3. How interesting it is to note that the Son of God is referred to as the Lamb in this verse, which foretells the victory of Christ over the beast. It is ironic to think of “the Lamb” winning this battle against the dragon, is it not? It is ironic until you realize that the basis for Christ’s victory was His death on the cross. And on the cross, He was the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
4. In His victory, He will be accompanied by His faithful followers, those who are described as the called, and chosen, and faithful. Who are those that are called, and chosen, and faithful? Learn some things about them. Turn to Romans 8.28-30:
we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to
them who are the called according to his
whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to
be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn
among many brethren.
whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he
also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
5. Romans 8.28-30 is a passage that connects eternity past to eternity future by referring to a certain category of individuals, believers, who are the objects of five actions taken by God, foreknowing, predestinating, calling, justifying, and glorifying. Let me briefly consider them:
a. Foreknowledge – Notice that verse 28 refers to those who love God and who are, verse 29, foreknown by God. In First John 4.19 this same John writes, “We love him, because he first loved us.” To be sure, John 3.16 reveals that God loves the world. But this is a particular love, a love that produces the response of love. To know the essence of God’s foreknowledge you must see the love of God’s foreknowledge, because foreknowledge does not simply mean to know something ahead of time. As well, we do not see here that God knows ahead of time things about Christians, but that He knows Christians ahead of time. Thus, what Paul is pointing out by using this word is that God, outside the boundaries of time, brought into existence a prior love for some of those not yet created that is different from His love for others not yet created. Is this ahead of time love the result of what God knew certain people would do, how they would respond to the gospel? No, for that would make God the one responding to the actions or decisions of a sinner, rather than God as the Grand Initiator of all that is right and good. As James wrote, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning,” James 1.17. Thus, foreknowledge speaks of a knowledge that is bound up in love. It is a knowledge that came into existence before time and creation.
b. Predestination – Some people are horrified by this word, but Paul put it to good use in Ephesians 1.4-6, where the word reveals God’s decision concerning the destinies of those He has foreknown:
as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we
should be holy and without blame before him in love:
predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself,
according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
What has God determined the destiny of those He has foreknown to be? He has determined that the destiny of those He has foreknown will be conformity to the image of His Son. This word “predestinated” is never used in connection with those who suffer eternal punishment, so God cannot be accused by the stupid of predestining anyone to perdition. Neither should we sit still when anyone stupidly accuses us of believing that God would predestine anyone to perdition.
It is good to point out that foreknowledge and predestination are two things God does before time, in eternity past.
c. Calling – There are two kinds of calling that are found in the Bible, termed by theologians a general call and an effectual call. When the Lord Jesus said, “For many are called, but few are chosen,” He was referring to a general call to salvation issued to every sinner. What Paul is referring to here in Romans 8.30 is what is called an effectual call. That is, everyone who is called by means of an effectual calling responds. Thus, every person foreknown in eternity past, and predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ in eternity past, will receive the general call to the gospel that everyone receives. But additionally, and what is mentioned here in Romans 8.30, that person will receive an effectual call. Why the necessity of an effectual call? Because Jesus said, in John 6.44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” My friends, but for the effectual call to salvation no sinner would ever come to Christ.
d. Justification – Justification refers to that moment when the sinner is actually reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ, Whose propitiating sacrifice on Calvary’s cross completely satisfied God’s righteous demands that sins and offenses against Him be punished. With justification, the justified one benefits from Christ’s work of suffering the righteous punishment for his sins. As First Peter 3.18 declares, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.” Everyone who is foreknown is predestinated. Everyone who is predestinated is called. Everyone who is called is justified.
e. Glorification – This is the end of the golden chain that connects eternity past to eternity future. As foreknowledge and predestination take place in eternity past, with calling and justification occurring during the time of the elect’s life here on earth, glorification fulfills God’s glorious plan and design for us by completing the entire process of salvation. Glorification includes a glorified body suited for timeless eternity, standing in the very presence of the Savior whose sacrifice, resurrection, and ascension to the Father’s right hand made our salvation possible, and ruling and reigning with Him.
f. One final comment concerning these five words. “The aor. speaks of God who sees the end from the beginning and in whose decree and purpose all fut. events are comprehended and fixed (Hodge).”
6. In addition to being “called,” they are “chosen.” What does “chosen” mean? Does not this word mean “picked,” “selected”? I am reminded of our Lord’s words to His disciples in John 15.16: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you . . . .”
7. Is it any wonder that those who have been foreknown, who have been predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ, who have been effectually called, who have been chosen, will be faithful? Folks, the Lord Jesus Christ just cannot lose. In addition, those who are with Him, which probably refers to the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, cannot lose either.
8. Look ahead with me.
a. Turn to Jude 14 and 15:
Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold,
the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
b. Now read Revelation 19.11-16 with me:
I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him
was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make
eyes were as a flame of fire,
and on his head were many
crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
he was clothed with a vesture
dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
the armies which were in heaven
followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the
nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the
winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
9. You see? Jump ahead to the final chapters and you see the Lord cannot lose. Neither can we lose, because He has already won. It has been ordained. This is why John wrote, “the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings.” And “they that are with him.” Are you “with him”?